In a house in Kanpur, calorie counting has been abandoned for a large box of mithai after Ayush Sharma, 17, discovered that he has been accepted at the world-famous Massachusetts’s Institute of Technology or MIT. A scholarship of a crore is part of the deal and covers his tuition expenses. For his living expenses, Ayush plans to launch a campaign on social media and hopes crowd-sourced funding will come to his rescue.
Ayush’s father is a mechanic. His mother retired as a constable of the paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force. The teen wants to someday help in reforming the education system in India. “I am one of the three people selected for MIT from India, so I am very happy,” he said.
His passion for Physics was matched by his aptitude. He was a topper at the Kendriya Vidyalay in Kanpur, and 2 years ago, he joined a coaching centre run by IIT graduates who work with students who can’t afford expensive tuition classes.
“I was introduced to idea of studying abroad at Avanti coaching centre. Mentors helped me in understanding the entire process,” he said. When he graduates, he will be the first member of his family with a college degree. He has a younger brother in Class 10.
In 2014, through the same coaching centre, Ayush travelled for a two-week summer course to Yale. He says one obstacle he had to overcome was speaking English. “English is one thing that I could not have learnt from anyone. I hardly had any people with whom I could converse with, I thus resorted to speaking to myself in English. I gradually started to improve.”
“God has blessed us that our child will now study abroad,” said his proud mother, Manju Sharma.
Ayush will travel to the US to begin his college life in September.