There’s a positive side to the Kota model
Successful alumni and institutes from this town are giving back by offering scholarships and coaching to the underprivileged
Med aspirant ends life’, ‘Drugs, sex, stress in Kota’…India’s coaching hub gets a lot of bad press. But in Rajasthan’s Sojat town, they know Kota as the place that helped Ramchandra Sankhla crack the IIT exam and get to the US to work in one of the world’s top companies.
Born into the family of a daily wage earner, Sankhla, 25, grew up in a single-room home in Sojat. Seeing his calibre, a teacher in his government school urged him to shift to Kota for IIT-JEE coaching. But cost was a major worry. “We borrowed some money and headed for Kota, unsure whether we will be able to pay it back,” Sankhla tells TOI over the phone from the US.
Sankhla needn’t have worried. A year later he was picked for a scholarship; he qualified for IIT-Roorkee; Google hired him and after a stint at Bengaluru, he was sent to Seattle.
Sankhla is one amongst the numerous IITians that Kota’s coaching institutes churn out annually. Many, like Sankhla, came from underprivileged backgrounds – the son of a coolie at a railway station, a NREGA worker from Bihar, a girl child bride… In Kota, they found both support and success.
“Some successful alumni have been grant- ing scholarships to needy students. Vatsalya Singh, son of a welder from Khagaria, Bihar, hit the headlines after he was hired by Microsoft with an annual package of Rs 1.2 crore in 2016. “Had Kota not supported me, I would have perhaps become a welder too,” says Singh. Today, he is helping others achieve their dreams.
The city’s coaching expertise is also being used to bring change in Naxalite-affected Chhattisgarh and insurgency-hit Kashmir. Pramod Maheshwari, director of Career Point says, “Our collaboration with the Chhattisgarh government in providing coaching in Naxal-hit areas and collaboration with local partners in Srinagar is bringing the children of the region into the mainstream.”
GIFT OF LEARNING: City’s coaching expertise is also being used to bring change in Naxal-hit Chhattisgarh