Higher Education

Higher Education

Twin delight: Slumdweller's sons top engg college

PUBLISH DATE 20th March 2017

Bros To Join MTech Course, Hope Edu Can Pull Family Out Of Poverty

Every day except on holidays for four years, twin brothers Vipin Gupta and Vinay Gupta, would leave their one-room tiny tenement at a slum near Vakola Bridge, Santacruz (east) at 6 am. Two hours later, after traveling in a bus, a train and a rickshaw, they would reach Anjuman-I-Islam's Kalsekar Technical Campus (AIKTC) at Panvel. In the evening the boys wound undertake the same strenuous journey back home. They never got late and never missed a class.

When the results of Bachelor of Engineering (Final) came in recently , the twin brothers grabbed the top two positions. While Vi pin is the institute's overall topper--including branches like civil, mechanical, computer, electronics and telecommunications--Vinay is the second rank holder. “The twin brothers showed exemplary courage and diligence to excel. We feel proud to have guided them,“ said AIKTC's director, Dr Abdul Razak A Honnutagi, at the glittering graduation ceremony held to distribute degrees to successful candidates.

Amidst rounds of applause, Anjuman-I-Islam's president Dr Zahir Kazi celebrated the twin brothers' success as a shining example of the institutions' commitment to secularism.

Cut to the 22-year old boys' tiny tenement near Vakola Bridge. Their father Ved mani is a construction labourers'contractor while mother is a housewife. Radhika, the eldest of five siblings, is a lab technician, elder brother is an IT professional while youngest sister Renuka is a BSC (Chemistry) final year student. “More than me, it's their mother who worked hard to see to it that all my children received good education,“ says Vedmani who moved to Mumbai in 1984 from his native village in Basti (UP). He did odd jobs, including as a labourer at constructions sites, moving on to become a contractor for construction workers. After the boys secured good marks in HSC--Vipin (85%) and Vinay (74%)--the couple decided to put them in an engineering course. “I am in the construction line for over three decades and have seen how civil engineers are respected. I wanted my boys to do the civil engineering course. Even they showed interest in it,“ says Vedmani, a college dropout.

How did the family sail against the tides? Low resources, atmosphere of a crowded chawl and limited water supply didn't deter the siblingsto study hard. After early dinner, the boys would occupy the nest-like upper floor in the small room and study till past midnight. Books were their friends and homework and projects left them little time to socialize with neighbourhood boys. “I often had to force them to switch off the light and go to sleep.That dedication has paid off,“ says teary-eyed Manju.

From filling water to washing clothes and packing the children's tiffins, the mother did everything without ever complaining. She often breaks down while recalling the tireless efforts she and her husband made to educate their children. The twins will soon join an M.Tech course.They aspire to join big companies and lift the family out of the deprivation it has endured for decades. A decent dwelling comprising spacious living rooms, guest rooms, separate kitchens and bathrooms and, of course, a room for Papa and Mummy where they can live comfortably .

The Gupta couple has made exemplary sacrifice to educate the twin sons. The boys have not disappointed them. They have made not just their parents feel proud.Their alma mater too is justifiably celebrating their success.