Digvijay Singh Sujlana, Delhi, 2 Jun 2011
Ahh!! Monday morning was bliss for I did not go forward with my scheduled cursing of the entire universe on M day. The week was spent understanding the organization, by which I tried to figure out why exactly Akshay and Krishna had given up their coveted day-z offers (as we called them back in b-school). I had every right to think over it given the constant grilling by the both of them on my “hidden” intentions behind joining Avanti.
I was really looking forward to the week for I had been finally given my much awaited chance of meeting up with a couple of the bright ones at their respective residences (our prospective fellows). All thanks to our operations honcho, Mr. Naga. The exercise took me to various corners of Delhi post which it became very difficult for me to call myself a Delhiite. I felt sort of ashamed for I had this myopic idea of awesome Delhi for I had spent my years in “happening” North and “classy” South. It took me a couple hours to reach my destination where I was scheduled to meet Mr. Singhal.
As he walked us to his dilapidated departmental store in a West Delhi suburb Rajat’s father proudly announced that he had taught his son through his life to the best of his capabilities. He pointed out his son’s achievements since childhood, including how Rajat had topped every class since 4th standard and how dedicated he was when it came to studies. We nodded in the affirmative seeing how well he had scored in the pre-selection test. As we approached the shop, his smile slowly wore out, he pointed out to his son who was handing out one rupee sachets of drinking water to a couple of customers, “that’s Rajat and he wants to become an engineer.”
Rajat’s father, a college dropout was worried of his son’s aspiration for he knew being bright was not enough to clear the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) and be able to grab a seat in anyone of the Indian Institute of Technologies. Trips to half a dozen coaching institutes made him realize that affording any one of them was unthinkable. He had desperately sought a way out to fulfill his sons’ ambitions but the fees just would not fit into any of his budgets. Avanti understood the family’s need.
On being asked why engineering, Rajat told us that he aspired to make a computer application which would make this world a better place, how he had yet to figure. To help him out and to assist him to think of a way the Avanti Fellows Program aims at providing him support over the next six years. Over the next two years Avanti will work to the best of its abilities to help Rajat break through that first barrier of clearing the JEE.