I Look Back At The World And Say, I can do anything: Srikanth Bolla

Bookmark (0)
ClosePlease login

No account yet? Register

The pioneering Srikantha Bolla
The pioneering Srikantha Bolla

Srikanth Bolla! Does that ring a bell? A blind man studying at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology? Is that even possible? Yes! If you and only you are willing!

That’s the inspiring story of Srikanth Bolla. Born blind to a rice farmer family in Seetharamapuram in Andhra Pradesh’s Machilipatnam district, Srikanth Bolla’s parents were advised to get rid of him because some of his relatives felt he would be of ‘no use’ to them in their old age.

Bolla’s school did not allow him to study science and maths because of a state law that said it would be challenging for blind students like Bolla to work with diagrams and graphs
Bolla’s school did not allow him to study science and maths because of a state law that said it would be challenging for blind students like Bolla to work with diagrams and graphs

But as they say, Man proposes, God disposes. Truly, for Bolla, fate had other plans. Bolla’s school did not allow him to study science and maths because of a state law that said it would be challenging for blind students like Bolla to work with diagrams and graphs. He was advised to study arts, languages, literature and social sciences.

A frustrated Bolla took the board to court, taking a teacher’s help. And he won the case! The court ruled blind students can study science and maths in their senior years at all state board schools in Andhra Pradesh.

Bolla was also named in the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders 2021 list
Bolla was also named in the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders 2021 list

But it was just the beginning of his many struggles to the top.

After averaging 98% in his exams, he decided to apply for India’s prestigious engineering colleges – the IITs.

But the coaching schools he approached were unwilling. “I was told by top coaching institutes that the course load would be like pouring rain on a small sapling,” he told BBC in an interview. “But I have no regrets. If IIT didn’t want me, I didn’t want IIT either,” he stated.

Bolla then applied to universities in the US instead and bagged five offers, settling for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Massachusetts. As a fitting reply for being ignored at PT class in his school, and the world-famous IITs, Bolla represented India in cricket and played chess at the national level.

As a fitting reply for being ignored at PT class in his school, and the world-famous IITs, Bolla represented India in cricket and played chess at the national level
As a fitting reply for being ignored at PT class in his school, and the world-famous IITs, Bolla represented India in cricket and played chess at the national level

Then he went on to study business management science at the MIT in the US, as the first international blind student ever to be admitted with a 100 per cent financial aid.

Srikanth returned to Hyderabad in 2012 to build Bollant Industries. His firm makes eco-friendly products and employs differently-abled people. Bollant has four production plants, one each in Hubli (Karnataka) and Nizamabad (Telangana), and two in Hyderabad (Telangana)

Bolla was also named in the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders 2021 list.

The 32-year-old is now the CEO of Bollant Industries, in which Ratan Tata has a stake.

Now, Bolla’s inspirational journey is being chronicled in a biopic with actor Rajkummar Rao in lead. Jyothika plays his mother.

The film releases on May 30.  Bolla is living by his word that if the “world looks at me and says, ‘Srikanth, you can do nothing,’ I look back at the world and say, “I can do anything.”

All Images: LinkedIn, Google, Facebook

Bookmark (0)
ClosePlease login

No account yet? Register

Tags

One Response

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

SUBSCRIBE TO NEWSLETTER

Submit Your Content

Member Login