17 May, 2021

Song Of The Loom

Boys from Gaya's Patwatoli weave their way into the IITs

Prashant Ravi
Song Of The Loom
Munna Prasad is one of the four children of a poor weaver of Patwatoli in the benighted Gaya district of Bihar. His father, Krishna, works a back-breaking 16-hour-a-day routine on his looms to bring in a paltry Rs 2,500 home every month. These odds didn't deter Munna from completing high school four years ago and setting his sights on the tough IIT-JEE (Indian Institute of Technology-Joint Entrance Examination), the passport to a promising career in engineering and science. Unable to buy books and sign on expensive courses in preparation, Munna took tuitions by day, earning around Rs 750 a month, and prepared for the examination at night. The effort worked wonders: he cracked the IIT-JEE (rank 2,647) and got admission in Roorkee College of Engineering last year. But now Munna has set his sights higher: he's hopeful of getting Indian School of Mines (ISM) in petroleum, but his first preference is mechanical engineering at the Institute of Technology, Benares Hindu University (IT-BHU). "Here people say Munna will go to America after qualifying in the examinations and earn a lot of...

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