Something extraordinary is happening in this Indian village
Indrasish Banerjee | On 29, Oct 2020
The village of Patwatoli is small, with only 1500 households, it is a traditional weaver village where just about every household earns their daily wage from making bedsheets and Gamucha, a traditional Indian towel. But there is something unique happening in this tiny village.
In recent years there has been an explosion of engineers coming from this tiny village that has put it on the map as one of the most dedicated feeding grounds for the Indian Institute of Technology. Over the last two decades, more than 250 students have been accepted to the IIT with excellent scores on the joint entrance exam (JEE). Under normal circumstances, this might not be newsworthy but considering the environment and poverty that this village battles daily, this is a massive success of focus and education.
This village is responsible for some of the highest-ranking applicants to IIT, and this is achieved with minimal teaching infrastructure in the village. The parents of many children often spend more than 60% of their monthly income on tuition, as much as $120 out of $200, and the kids are making them proud across the world.
Several of the students from this tiny village have gone on to secure high-paying positions in the global industry as far as the USA and Canada. This is a phenomenon that sparked one particular student and his success. The first graduate of ITT from the village- Jeetender Prasad was the first Patwatoli graduate of IIT, and his success has inspired the rest of the village to let the intellect guide them to a brighter future.
Since then this education movement has spawned groups of students to return to the village during their summer break and tutor up-and-coming future engineers on Maths and Science. This has become the new norm for almost 20 years now, and every year the number of students taking the entrance exam gets higher.
The women too, have taken the initiative to show that their intellect is just as valuable as the boys. These young women have changed their lives and demonstrated that there is a whole engineering world to conquer for those who have the ambition.
This extraordinary set of circumstances have started to change the village into a hub of aspiring engineers and professionals. The students from this village are changing the way that this village sees itself.
With encouragement from parents and friends, these villagers are creating a hub of ambitious students that continue the hard-work of their parents to get them there, and they are showing that poverty and lack of access is no reason to live an uneducated life.