Hyderabad, December 18: Six years ago when the elite engineering club of India, the Indian Institute of Technology closed its doors to visually challenged youth Srikanth Bolla due to his disability, it forced him to apply to the top Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Now he is all set to finish his studies in Computer Science and Business Management, and started a computer-training centre for visually challenged students.
In 2009, Bolla had completed his pre-university exam from a college in Hyderabad, he wanted to get into IIT, but no coaching institute gave him admission. Due to which he applied at the MIT where he was selected among 120 foreign students. He is the only Indian blind student selected for the MIT.
Last year Bolla shared his dream with the staff of MIT of creating a centre for blind students in India where they can learn computer. Read Also: (Haben Girma, the first deaf-blind Harvard Law graduate is all set to create new records)
First, he created a curriculum, then with additional grants, he bought five computers, rented a building, hired a faculty member, and began 10-week computer classes. The centre now trains 30 blind high school students each year, but with more funding, he hopes to add more computers and more students.
Bolla was quoted in MIT journal, where he said, “I want to dedicate my life to community and social service. I want a place in society where people look up to me as a role model and great leader”.
Bolla had earlier fought with the Government for his right to study Science. In a country where nearly 2.21% of the population is physically disabled, India has many barriers in place that impede the development of disabled children.
In August 28, 2006, when Dr APJ Abdul Kalam posed a question to students during a programme asking them, ‘What do you want to become in life?’. It was Bolla who raised his voice from the crowd and said, “I want to be the first visually challenged President of India”.
Bolla was born blind to a family who earned their livings through farming. After his birth villagers in his family advised his mother and father to let him die. In India physically handicapped kids by birth are considered as curse and are let to die.
But his parents focused on his education and through their support he began breaking down every barrier put in his path.
Watch: Seeing no obstacles, an inspiring speech by Srikant Bolla