Naga Naresh who I feel is an inspiration to all was himself inspired and motivated by his maths teacher Pramod Lal who encouraged him to participate in various local talent tests, and a brilliant boy called Chowdhary, who was his senior. It was due to Chowdhary that Naga Naresh was drawn towards IIT. He was also inspired by K K S Bhaskar who ranked in the top 10 of IIT JEE exams. “When I came to know that Chowdhary had joined Gowtham Junior College to prepare for IIT-JEE, it became my dream too. I came first in my school in the 10th scoring 542/600. Because I topped in the state exams, Gowtham Junior College waived the fee for me. Pramod Sir’s recommendation also helped. The fee was around Rs 50,000 per year, which my parents could never afford.”
Naga Naresh feels that he is lucky (despite the physical handicap) as many events in his life made him believe so. First he met a gentleman called Sunder when he was traveling in a train and he offered to take care of his hostel fees. Naga Naresh had tried using the Jaipur foot when he was in 3rd grade, but for some reason was not feeling comfortable using it. But the hospital (Jaipur Foot) took up the responsibility of taking care of Naga Naresh’s fees at IIT Madras. “In IIT, I evolved as a person in these four years, both academically and personally. It has been a great experience studying here. The people I was interacting with were so brilliant that I felt privileged to sit along with them in the class. Just by speaking to my lab mates, I gained a lot.”
The Dean at IIT Madras, Prof Idichandy and the Students General Secretary offered Naga Prasad of sum of Rs. 55,000 to buy a powered wheel chairs. These events made Naga Naresh strongly believe that God is with him and God has planned things for him and takes care of him at every step. “What they did was, they did not buy the wheel chair; they gave me the money so that the wheel chair belonged to me and not the institute. My life changed after that. I felt free and independent.”
“That’s why I say I am lucky. God has planned things for me and takes care of me at every step.”
Amazing, isn’t it? Here is a young boy with no legs, whose parents were illiterate and poor, who has managed to reach where lakhs of Indian kids only dream of. With a positive attitude and hard work, Naresh makes you feel that anything is possible.