"My National Flag flies in my heart and I will bring glory to my Nation." - Guru Kalam

Inspiring Indians

Poverty, family of illiterates did not deter this young man from his doctoral dreams

By Gayathri R | FEB 2016

‘Whatever you do or dream you can begin it, braveness has tremendous power and magic in it’, says Goethe. These lines reflect the life of many among us, and so it does with Srinivasa D Managalli who is currently pursuing his PhD in Social Work.

Though it may not seem an achievement in the normal course of education, among the underprivileged, it may stand out as a stupendous achievement. His pursuit to be well educated, the struggle he had gone through and the path he has treaded are indeed quite inspiring.

Born in a family of illiterates, who considered education to be secondary, Srinivasa began his studies in a remote obscure village of Managalli, Kollegal Taluk of Chamarajnagara district, Karnataka state. Srinivasa had to work in the farm right from his third standard.

Toiling in the farm for two hours every morning, he made it to school which was nothing more than a learning exercise under a tree. However, his world began to bloom when he joined Kollegal Government Hostel for 8th Standard.

Passing SSLC was not difficult for Srinivasa but once he joined Pre-university, things turned out to be different and difficult. The financial position at home forced him again to take up menial jobs to support his family.

He did many casual jobs in the next five years; pole man in the electricity department, a plantation labourer, a florist in Kollegal among others. The hardships he faced during these times did discourage a bit, but he remained adamant.

He decided to continue his studies. With the guidance of his elder brother, he joined the Maharaja’s College, Mysuru to complete his graduation.

At dawn, he used to work sorting newspapers, and at times as a security guard and a waiter at a hotel to support the family and attend the college. Taking life cheerfully while striding ahead, he completed his graduation from Maharaja’s College and stepped to University of Mysore (UoM) to pursue PG in Social Work.

At UoM, he rose to become the President of the Dalit Student Federation (Dalit Vidyarthi Okkuta). Today, he is not only pursuing his Doctorate in Social Work but also working as a Project Fellow in the prestigious UGC-funded University with Potential for Excellence Project.

Walking a long path towards his doctorate, Srinivasa says he is inspired by Dr B R Ambedkar’s life and Buddha’s saying: Be thy own Light.

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