Nothing is impossible is a quote many have heard, but few believe it and put it into practice. Among those few is a 25-year old engineer from Mumbai called Prathamesh Hirve. The young man, who comes from a slum in Filterpada, Powai, has become the first ever ISRO engineer from Mumbai! Hirve, who applied to ISRO in May this year, has been selected out of 16,000 applicants. He will work as an electrical scientist at ISRO and will be posted in Chandigarh. And his journey is sure to be an inspiration for many.
Hirve spent his childhood in a 10×10 foot house in the Filterpada slums in Powai in suburban Mumbai. Like most slums, Filterpada too was heavily populated. But nothing deterred Hirve’s focus on studies and achieving his goal. With his strong willpower, Hirve completed a diploma in Electrical Engineering from Bhagubhai Mafatlal Polytechnic College. After this, he served as an intern at Larsen & Toubro and Tata Powers. Later, he pursued a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Smt Indira Gandhi College of Engineering in Navi Mumbai.
Speaking to MidDay, Hirve revealed that his parents and aunt had taken him for an aptitude test in south Mumbai. The expert had told his parents that his cousin brother had an aptitude for engineering, but Hirve would be better off taking Arts. But a determined Hirve told his parents that no matter what, he would become an engineer, and they believed in him.
The journey to the top wasn’t smooth, of course. From difficult living conditions to a language barrier, he had to overcome it all. Until class 10, Hirve had studied all subjects in Marathi, but after tenth, he was suddenly exposed to a plethora of engineering terms and definitions in English during his diploma. His willpower helped him tide over these obstacles, and he eventually applied for a coveted place in the Union Public Service Commission. He failed in the attempt but decided to take it in his stride. In 2016, he applied for ISRO. Here too, his application did not go beyond the waiting list. He tells MidDay that by this time, he had started getting job offers and began working as an engineer. However, his goal was to make it to ISRO. This May, he applied again. And his years of hard-work and dedication paid off when, out of 16000 applicants, Hirve was among the nine that got through.