“Hailing from a lower middle class household, I have seen poverty of the worst kind. It was this background that eventually pushed me to become a tool to help humanity in a way that was possible for me.
Born into a family that was struggling to make ends meet, my education became a point of debate in my family. They were considering not sending me to school when my aunt came forward to say that she will make me study. Till my second grade, I grew up with my aunt and to this date, she is one of the prime role models for me.
When my parents could no longer take this separation, they came back and took me to my house. As I started schooling once again in a new place, I could feel the extreme financial burden of my family. Every year, my dad would make an appointment with the principal to try and ask for a fee concession.
My peers back then used to even taunt me with this but to me, it was too much to see my father take the brunt of this. I pleaded with them to send me to a government school but they strongly refused. My dad has travelled endlessly in his steel bicycle to try and arrange for scholarships for me. Life went in such a manner till my 10th grade. Entering 11th, we made a decision as a family that I would be sent to a government school and to this day, I don’t regret this decision of mine.
Scoring a good percentage in my 12th boards, I got into MOP Vaishnav college with a scholarship. It was here that my first tryst with community service happened. As scholarship students, we were expected to clock in some hours of community service every semester. So I started the process by offering to be a scribe for visually challenged people.
What I saw there changed my life forever. The struggle they went through as a blind person in this world was unspeakable. I started going to volunteer more often than usual. With time, I also started to take tuitions to help pay off my student fees. In my final year, I got campus placed in Infosys and that day was a defining moment in my life.
Going to work, I slowly started to get new stuff for my house. Like the simple pleasure of buying a cot to sleep on, a bike for my dad, essentials for my mom was insurmountable. Slowly with time, my salary increased and with that, our status of living too. I am currently in my 6th year in this job and I love my role as a software tester.
I had volunteered with different people in various instances. I set aside a monthly amount to donate to a cause or an NGO. There were multiple people who influenced me on this path and I will always remain grateful to them and the supreme above me.
I don’t have any shame associated with my upbringing or my background. Everything happens for a reason and as someone who has seen poverty, I now know how that feels and that has only made me feel much more responsible towards this world. As long as I am able, I hope to continue my work and do my bit to the society.”