Kathmandu, 8 August 2013: PDRC supported hard-working student Pravin Shreepaili from Dang by providing scholarship and study and career counseling. He has made us, his community and family are proud by winning an Indian Embassy scholarship in an open-for-all competition and getting admission offer from NITTE Meenakshi Institute of Technology, which is considered to be one of the best institutions for engineering in India. For the next 4 years, he will be studying Aeronautic Engineering-after completing the study he hopes to take his passion for social engineering along with technical engineering.
Here is a part of the question and answer session with Pravin Shreepaili which we hope to inspire and motivate more students to work harder and stay focused on their dreams.
PDRC: Tell us something about your school days.
Pravin: I studied in Tulsipur, Dang in Tulsi Boarding school. I was a very good student right from the beginning; my teachers adored me for that. I really excelled in Maths and Science.
PDRC: What dreams did you have when you were at school?
Pravin: Well, I did not have any specific dream when I was at school. Everyone else would want to become a doctor or an Engineer but all I wanted to be was a successful and socially accountable person.
PDRC: Did you face any discrimination while you were in your school?
Pravin: I did not face any direct act of discrimination like untouchability. My friends and teachers were fond of me; however, I could sense something behind my back, especially when it comes to my friends’ parent’s attitude towards me. Sometimes I could hear them saying “see, even the son of a goldsmith is doing that good in studies, and you are flunking even being a Brahmin”? Their tacit belief that a son of a Dalit cannot study well really annoyed me.
PDRC: How did your 10+2 days go?
Pravin: After passing SLC with flying colors (85%) I came to Kathmandu and joined Nobel College. I rented a room at Koteshowr and lived by myself. At first, it was a little difficult because there is a vast difference between the course of 10th and 11th grade. Coming from a faraway place, nothing made sense at the beginning. But then gradually, as I pushed myself harder, I started learning more. I chose to spend my time with a few studious friends who shared my positive attitude towards study. I again scored almost 8o% marks in my +2.
PDRC: Where did you prepare for the BE entrance test?
Pravin: I did not join any institute. I just revised my notes and books and studied them on my own.
PDRC: What are the techniques you applied while studying?
Pravin: I did not apply any specific tool- I did not make any routine because I thought routine would bind me and I love my freedom! What I did was I developed a passion for science and math. I did not study because I had to study but because I loved to study, I wanted to know more about physics and math! And for that, I used to make a broad plan, say; I would finish this chapter today or in two days! I would not break my plan into hours. Sometimes I would spend almost half the night burying my head into books! Just like that.
PDRC: You seem to be really inspired! Where did you get inspired from?
Pravin: I am a great fan of Martin Luther King. I heard about him first when I was in grade 9 but I read his speech “I have a dream” only after coming to Kathmandu. I still remember a line from his speech by heart “I have a dream that one day out in the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.” This inspires me every time I feel bogged down. It’s a true signpost of hope and optimism to me.
PDRC: What is your planning after completing the engineering college?
Pravin: I don’t have any plans yet. I am excited to join my colleagues. Once I finish my study, I might join some International agency. No matter where I end up, I will help Nepal and Nepalese people through every way I can; financially, intellectually, and through developing a network. Since I am aware of the role of politics and policies in bringing change, I also want to invest my time and resources on political, social and advocacy activities so that I can genuinely help my people.
PDRC: Would you like to say something to the youths who aspire to get an opportunity like yours in the future?
Pravin: All I would like to say is that, follow your heart. If you follow your passion, success comes heading your way. I strongly speak against joining the chorus of “I want to be a doctor” or “I want to be an Engineer”-in fact, the field does not matter, you can excel in any field, all you need is a focus and perseverance. Let me tell you, a mathematical or scientific problem is like a new friend, the more you get into it, the more you will know more about it. I compare the relationship between a student and a difficult subject with a love-hate relationship between friends: if you do not quit and go deeper to break the code, you will really get into it. You really need to be persistent about it and keep nudging it if you want to excel in any field of study.
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