Bus Conductor’s son from Khar slum makes it to IIT-Bombay

Never Say Die!

(Reproduced from DNA Newspaper, Mumbai, Tuesday 12.07.2016, page 2, print edition for the purpose of motivating my own students and readers of my blogs)

(Author: Bilal Khan; E-mail: correspondent@dnaindia.net)

“Beating the odds”

They say, “if you can dream it, then you achieve it”, and how true this has turned out to be for this 18-year old Arbaz Shaikh, son of a bus conductor from a Khar (a suburb in Mumbai) slum, has got selected for IIT-B’s Bachelor of Technology course.

Arbaz stays with his parents and younger sister, in a 10 x 12 square feet room. His father Rajvalli (43) has been working as a BEST conductor for five years. “I was a technician before I joined the Undertaking. I did not have a shop; I used to go door to door to repair TV’s and other appliances. Those were tough days — trying to earn a livelihood enough to feed the family and pay the rent,” he said.

Arbaz has been good in his studies right from childhood. He secured 95.64 % and 85.85 % in standards X and XII, respectively. In JEE Advanced, he secured an AIR (All India Rank) 2262 in the second attempt.

The teenager, who used to escape to the college library to study, said, “I stay in a slum area, where it’s always noisy. Neither did I have a room to myself for studying. The library was my refuge.”

He added that he never took stress over studies and always managed to find the right balance.

This year was Arbaz’s second attempt to get admission to IIT-B. “My rank was not good enough last year. My father motivated me to try once more,” he said.

When asked why he pushed his son to give it another go, Rajvalli said Arbaz had been taking scholarship exams and other tests apart from those conducted in school and college. “He had got scholarship for Std XI and XII too without tuition classes. Because of that I was sure that he would get through in the second try,” added Rajvalli.

Arbaz’s father has big dreams for his son. “I want my children to be well-educated so that they can provide a good education and a good life to their children.”

Arbaz is trying to get a scholarship for his IIT-B course too. At the moment, he has got assistance assurance from an NGO, the Association of Muslim Professionals.

(With thanks to Bilal Khan and DNA newspaper),

 (Nothing is impossible, thus spake the wise, famous French warrior Napoleon Bonaparte!)

You are requested to share more motivational stories about pursuit of excellence in Math, IITJEE, RMO etc. here in my blog 🙂

-Nalin Pithwa

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