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The Mahindra All India Talent Scholarship helped Karthik complete his education and support his mother financially. His story is an example of how to face challenges head-on and rise above them
Karthik is the younger of the two sons of PL Alivelu, a single mother who sought a divorce after suffering domestic violence. She worked as a kindergarten teacher in a small local school in Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh, to care for her two sons. Without any support from her husband, she struggled to raise her two sons on her salary of INR 4,500 per month. She supplemented her income by giving tuitions to earn another INR 1,500. But there was more bad luck in store for her. The school she worked in shut down, and she lost her job. The stress and the struggle to provide for the family took a toll on her health. She suffered from diabetes and hypertension and that cleaned out whatever little savings the family had.
Karthik had seen his mother’s struggle for years. Most of her salary went in paying a rent of INR 3,000 for their home, which left them with precious little in hand for daily expenses. Paying for her sons’ education, medicines, groceries and utility bills meant that Alivelu had to take loans from friends and family. Karthik started working at a very young age to supplement the family income. He tutored 15 students at home. His efforts brought in a little more money and helped to keep him and his brother in school.
Karthik decided to do a diploma in mechanical engineering from Government Polytechnic in Kakinada. This would have proved a financial strain if he had not managed to win a Mahindra scholarship. When he was 15 years old, his college seniors had told him about the Mahindra All India Talent Scholarship (MAITS). He applied and after a personal interview, he was awarded the scholarship. The scholarship amount went a long way in keeping Karthik on track with his educational goals. He could learn without adding to the family’s financial burden or taking any more loans.
Karthik completed his diploma and ranked first in all the semester examinations. His discipline and sincerity have gained him the respect and recognition of his teachers and mentors. The support of MAITS has fuelled Karthik’s ambitions. Currently, he is preparing for the AP State E-CET examination for a lateral entry into the second year of the B Tech course. Karthik’s mentor RA Rao says, “I have always seen Karthik with a smile despite all his hardships. With his impressive performance in the diploma, he is destined for greater academic achievements.”
Struggle makes you humble, and Karthik’s desire to help others exemplifies his humility. Even today, the 19-year-old tutors students of class 10 for a nominal fee of INR 150 per month and reduces this further for students who can’t afford it, just to make sure that their studies don’t suffer.
But there’s more to Karthik’s story. After completing his education, the wants to give back to society by supporting talented and underprivileged students realise their dreams through education. Karthik’s struggles, determination to wade through them and help everyone grow exemplify Mahindra’s Rise philosophy. He says, “We should give others the wings to fly. When we share our resources, we help the youth grow and contribute to the country’s development. MAITS helped me realise my dreams, and I urge other talented and financially deprived students across India to apply for it.”
In the Engineering Common Entrance Test (E-CET) exam in 2020 held in his state, Karthik secured 24th state rank out of 33,000 students.
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