Courage and positivity helped him overcome his disability and poverty

1450849_641305382588126_852666570_nNaga Naresh Karutura is currently working at Google Bangalore India. He completed his graduation in computer science at IIT Madras, an esteemed technology institute where acceptance rate is approximately 2%. His parents are illiterate: His father Prasad is a lorry driver and his mother is a house wife. Naga Naresh met with an accident in January 1993. During those days he was studying in school. During the festive holidays he had planned a trip to his grandmothers place along with his mother. As the lorry he was travelling in was heavily loaded he was made to sit near the door. Naga Naresh was young and by mistake he opened the door of the lorry and was accidentally thrown out of the moving vehicle. As a result his legs got injured. The irony of the situation was, the accident happened in front of a big private hospital, but the hospital refused to admit him as it was an accident case. So a police constable who was present there took him to a government hospital where Naga Naresh underwent a surgery as his intestine was twisted. During that time the wounds on his legs were neglected and as a result gangrene developed and eventually both his legs had to be  amputated up to the hips.
After completing the treatment he was brought home. Naga Naresh was a brave boy, he did not get depressed, on the contrary he was enjoying the attention he was getting as a result of his physical disability. “I don’t think my life changed dramatically after I lost both my legs. Because everyone at home were doting on me, I was enjoying all the attention rather than pitying myself. I was happy that I got a lot of fruits and biscuits.”
Naga Naresh believes in destiny and God. He strongly feels that God has special plans for everyone. In fact he believes that due to the accident his father moved to Tanuku where he joined a missionary school. If he would have continued in Teeparu his village, then he might not have studied beyond the 10th grade. His sister was very kind and took a 2 years’ drop just to be in the same class and be with him. His friends were also very co-operative and would help him out in his daily activity in the school. “My sister carried me to school for a few years and after a while, my friends took over the task. When I got my tricycle, my sister used to push me around in the school.”

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.

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