Monday, 22 December 2014

IITians give up fat pay for social work..........

MUMBAI: Even as several students from the current batch of IIT Bombay are looking forward to becoming multi-millionaires for the last three weeks, some pass-outs have dared to swim against the tide. It's no longer a mad pursuit to get seven-figure salaries for these IIT students; it's a quest for their dreams that matters to them. While some want to teach, some have taken up social entrepreneurship and a few have taken up social work.
IIT-Bombay's 2010 pass-out, Pratyush Rathore, was earning an annual package of Rs 44 lakh (salary plus incentives) in a New York-headquartered financial firm in Gurgaon when he quit his job to pursue his dream of teaching, against his parents' wishes.
After training students for IIT entrance exams for three years, Rathore has now purchased land to set up a school in a small village close to his hometown - Sirlay, in Madhya Pradesh. He has applied for the diversion process and is awaiting a nod from the local authorities for his plan to take off.
Rathore said, "I was into algorithmic trading. But my hobby was to teach and after three years of experience, I am confident about pursuing my dream." He had to get his parents to visit Gurgaon to show them the lifestyle he led. "It was only after the visit that they were convinced," said Rathore.

When Rathore quit his job to set up a school in 2011, his plans tanked after his partners backed out. "I continued training students for IIT preparations, and simultaneously, was looking for a job. My parents were relieved after I got a work-from-home profile from a firm based in Mumbai," he said.
But now, his idea is taking shape. "Since it is my hometown, it is not difficult to get contacts and resources here. I plan to set up a school similar to the one in the movie '3 Idiots', where we will not follow the conventional schooling system," said Rathore.
A passout from the 2014 batch, Siddharth Shah, opted for a Gandhi fellowship, a two-year residential programme which requires him to work with schools in small towns to train principals and teachers in leadership qualities and better teaching practices, and help them in transforming education.
Shah said, "I wanted to explore opportunities that could help me bring about a social change. I am content with less. I can always go back to research once the programme is over."
Suhani Mohan, also an alumni from IIT-B, quit a cushy job with a multinational bank with a pay packet of over Rs 20 lakh. She is now setting up a firm, which will make machines that can produce low-cost sanitary napkins for rural India.
"We knew that our skills can be used to make this product. It is a start-up and we are currently using our own resources for funding the venture," Suhani said. She has set up the venture with two of her friends.
Meanwhile, for some students, the fellowship programmes on offer during campus placements seemed like the way to go. Ankur Tulsian, a mechanical engineer from the 2011 batch, opted for the Young India Fellowship over an MNC offer.
The fellowship allowed him to get lessons in liberal arts and leadership from global experts for a year. "The programme gave me an opportunity to learn courses that I had not studied at IIT. It helped me to put whatever I had learnt in perspective. The diversity of class was also a refreshing change from that of the engineering cohort at IIT."
Tulsian said that some convincing went into get his parents onboard the idea. Since he was offered a scholarship, they agreed to it eventually, he added.