Young Siddu Loute’s claim to fame is that he’s a human computer with a phenomenal memory. He has been awarded and honoured many times over for such remarkable feats as memorising arithmetic tables up to 99 crore and for his ability to recall more than 45,000 telephone numbers.
His ultimate aim is to break all records set by the late mathematical wiz Shakuntala Devi, famously called “the human computer”.
But the list of his accomplishments and ambitions does not stop there. He is currently doing his LLB from MS Ramaiah College, Bengaluru, and aspires to be an IAS officer. He also anchors a live quiz programme on a local TV channel.
What, however, makes Loute’s achievements and his versatility, even more incredible is that they are those of a man who is visually impaired.
That is why this 28-year-old who is all for enabling the needy, is such a great source of inspiration for the physically challenged, especially students among them. Hailing from Kakamari village of Athani taluk in Belgaum, Karnataka, Loute, who now lives in Bengaluru, has had a life of struggle. But he never let go of his dreams.
Born in a poor family, Loute faced utter parental neglect on account of his congenital blindness. Leaving home when he was only five, his neighbours helped him join a government school in Hubli city.
His school teachers were indifferent towards him, he spent his time in time in class in silence but soon caught everyone’s attention for his ability to recite arithmetic tables of up to 52 lakh when he was just a second-standard student.
Though humiliated by his teachers when he tried to learn basic computer skills in class 8, and for his poor English, Loute remained undettered. “I taught myself to write basic English in 15 days,” he said.
Today, Loute is striving to ensure that others with the same disability do not face the obstacles he had to encounter as a school student. He has brought out a CD titled, ‘Adhunika Aaryabhata’, meant to help boost the confidence of visually-impaired individuals.
Shivanagouda B Chinnikatti, a teacher of English at Vishwachetana P U College, Hubli, where Loute was a student, said: “As a child, his suffering steeled him and turned him into a stubborn and resolute boy.
He saw his disability not as weakness but as a challenge that life had thrown at him. I found him to be exceptionally hardworking, abundantly courageous and superbly innovative.
Such was his persistence that he could stay hungry for days together just to concentrate on his work to finish it, and finish it well.
Given the time and opportunity, he has the remarkable ability to learn almost anything that can be humanly learnt.”
Loute says it best: “In this world, everyone is endowed with a unique talent. But to become a great man, one should have the capacity to identify one’s hidden talent.”