To IIT....

A poor boy, does hard labour, studies in lantern without a fan at 40 °C , without any qualified teacher around the loud noise of machines and gets into top engineering college of India...looks so filmy, unreal. But there is a place, where such guys live, fighting with all diversities called Patwa toli, in gaya, bihar. I have high respect for them, because they demand nothing from government and silently they go on to make their life. They have made adversities their stair to success.

more about them from some media report...

The pattern of success

A weavers' village in Bihar has
100 graduates from IITs and RECs

By Kanhaiah Bhelari/Patwa Toli

Kajal Se Kala Cheej Kalank Hai
Suraj Se Chamkila Cheej IIT Hai
(Ignominy is blacker than black
IIT is brighter than the sun)

This rather odd-sounding couplet is pasted on the walls of many
houses of Patwa Toli village in Gaya district of Bihar. The village
literally takes it to heart. In the last 10 years, 25 students from
the nondescript hamlet have got into various Indian Institutes of
Technology (IITs) and 75 have entered Regional Engineering Colleges,
now known as National Institutes of Technology.

Courage to dream: The students of Patwa Toli have fought against
several odds to realise their ambition

There is an envious saying in nearby villages: "Boys of Patwa Toli
are born to become engineers." It is slowly becoming a rural proverb.

Patwa Toli has around 300 families of weavers and the clatter of
power-looms is heard throughout the day. How can students unravel
tough equations in this noise? "We are focused," said a student. "The
sound of the looms goes above our head." Like the mythical warrior
Arjuna, the quintessential student sees only his targetÑan
engineering degree.

The weavers have been shuttling from crisis to crisis since the early
decades of the 20th century. "We realised that if our children do not
get good education and good jobs, the community would be heading for
real trouble," said Umesh Prasad Patwa, a weaver.

Bitter experience taught them that they could get little from
jostling for common government jobs. "It is very difficult to get
such jobs without obliging those in power," said Patwa. He said he
lost the post of a lecturer because he could not pay Rs 50,000 as
bribe.

Motivator: Vijay Kumar, an IIT graduate, conducts a training class

Jitendra Kumar, son of Thakur Prasad, was the one who wove
the 'engineering dream' in the village. He wrote the 1991 entrance
examination and got admission at Banaras Hindu University, whose
Institute of Technology is one of the eight IITs. When he came back
to the village, he urged the villagers to motivate their children to
become engineers.

Kumar is now working at PricewaterhouseCoopers-Global, a software
consultancy in New Jersey, USA. While studying for his engineering
degree, he used to assemble young students of the village near the
Durgasthan (abode of the goddess) to teach them learning skills and
the way to write exams. He proved to be a big inspiration. In 1997,
13 boys got into IITs and 53 entered various Regional Engineering
Colleges.

Before he left for the United States in 1997, Kumar set up several
study centres at the village to train aspirant engineers. It has
almost become mandatory for those who have got into the IITs to guide
those who are aspiring to get inÑa kind of village ethos. Said an IIT
graduate: "I spend at least two hours a day to help young men prepare
for the entrance examinations."

Most of the families are poor. But parents have never allowed poverty
to dampen the academic pursuits of their children. This is a village
which is passionate about education; almost obsessed with it.
Children of many weavers are now holding important posts in
government agencies like the Defence Research and Development
Organisation and top-notch software companies like Wipro and Infosys.
Some have landed jobs in the US.

A case in point is Krishna Prasad, Munna Prasad's father, who earns
Rs 3,000 a month. But he asked Munna not to worry about the family's
financial problems, as the boy had one flaming idea in his
mindÑgetting into an engineering college. To buy costly books, he
gave tuitions for school children in the morning, earning Rs 750 a
month. At night, he studied for six hours.

Lust is the main enemy of concentration. So we get our boys married
before they appear for examinations, said Umesh Prasad Patwa.

His hard work yielded results. Last year, he got admission in the
Roorkee College of Engineering, an IIT now. Ghimri Lal, an illiterate
life insurance agent, sent his son Tej Narain Prasad to school to
learn English so that he could help in preparing insurance
papers. "My son appeared for the IIT entrance test and got the 259th
rank," said Lal, beaming with pride. "He is now in IIT Kanpur." Vijay
Kumar, now a student at IIT Kharagpur, remembered studying in
candlelight with seven other boys. Infosys has offered him a job.

The IIT graduates set up an association, Nav Prayas, in 1999 to
motivate the youth of the village. It organises debates and seminars,
and conducts talent search examinations to identify students with
aptitude.

The candidates selected are divided into groups and given training.
Villagers have chipped in by offering rooms in their houses to
conduct study centres.

Some students go to a coaching centre in Gaya for proficiency in
English.

Interestingly, most of the village youth studying for engineering
entrance are married. "Lust is the main enemy of concentration," said
Patwa. "So we get our boys married before they appear for
examinations." The villagers say early marriage takes care of the
vagaries of the libido.

The villagers have been encouraging only sons to pursue their academic
dreams. However, now they are also thinking of motivating the girls
to follow the same path.

Patwa Toli stands in sharp contrast to the dismal state of education
in therest of Bihar, which has the highest number of school dropouts
(58 per cent atthe primary level and up to 80 per cent at the high
school level).

It is different in other respects, too. The other villages are
plagued bycrime, liquor and Naxalism. Patwa Toli is crime-free, and
there are very fewdrunks loitering around. There are no gangs or
goons. The pursuit of knowledge has virtually brought light to the
village.


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