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

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - | POLITICS POLICY -

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.”

Getty Im­ages

GIFT OF LEARN­ING: City’s coach­ing ex­per­tise is also be­ing used to bring change in Naxal-hit Ch­hat­tis­garh

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