Atul Jain, an IIT alumnus, gets nostalgic while recalling the day he was told by professors that he had 'zero possibility' of getting admitted into a PhD programme in a top 100 university - all due to the lack of a good IIT grade.
A PhD student at one such university today, Jain is only too happy to point out how he proved his professors wrong.
Another IIT alumnus said on the condition of anonymity that by the time he completed his B Tech, he had 11 backlog papers. Still, he managed to become a successful software engineer with a multinational company.
Vishnu Sreekumar, a graduate student at the department of psychology in the Ohio State University, US, has a similar story to say. But no matter how bad things got, he always found something to lift his spirits with. "At one stage, I was three-point something," he says, "That, however, did not deter me from indulging in extra-curricular activities."
All the three are part of a social media group that works towards a social cause - putting a halt to the suicides at IITs.
Such cases have only grown in number over the last few years. Internal inquiry committees set up by various IITs identified depression, academic load and family pressure as the main reasons for such occurrences. "It all started a few months ago, when we invited stories from alumni members who had not done well academically in IITs, but were doing okay in their lives," says Ashok Gupta, president, IIT-Kanpur alumni association.
The response, Gupta said, was encouraging. "The last story posted on the page in September was visited by 2,369 people, and had 24 comments. A story posted in August was visited by 18,718 people, and got 70 comments."