(Success Story) IES Topper - R. Karthikeyan

(Success Story) IES Topper - R. Karthikeyan

Even amidst the jubilation last week, the 21-year-old civil engineering graduate and State topper from Anna University reflected on the nature of the education system he had endured

When he was 12 years old, R. Karthikeyan attempted to steal a book titled, ‘Science tells you why’ from his school library.

Bored with his textbooks and knowing his father, a farmer, would not be able to afford illustrated books, he had set his sights on the science book. But Karthikeyan was caught in the act by a teacher, who beat him hard, and ever since, Karthikeyan hated school.

Last week, the 21-year-old civil engineering graduate from Anna University, bagged the fifth all-India rank in UPSC’ s engineering services exam. Even amidst the jubilation, the State-topper reflected on the nature of the education system he had endured.

“Most schools are like jails where students are regularly beaten,” Karthikeyan said. “I studied hard in class XII so that I could get into a college that was not like my school,” he said, recalling his days in a school near Salem, famous for producing board rankers.

Karthikeyan, who hails from Kalasamuthiram, a village near Salem, grew up in an agricultural household that was entirely dependent on his father’s earnings.

“I was never interested in school. All I used to look forward to was running back home to accompany my father with milk to the village market,” he said.

Despite his lack of interest, it was his father’s almost instinctive skill in measurements that inspired Karthikeyan to pursue civil engineering. “My father studied only till class IX but he is an expert at calculations. Be it digging a well, or constructing a borewell, my father is always consulted in the village, and I would observe the way he would mentally chalk out measurements and instruct workers,” he said.

Another reason he chose civil engineering was because he wanted to work on sites instead of in an office.

Last year, around this time, Karthikeyan had fulfilled the “dream of his life” — getting into an IIT for a postgraduate course. But after three months of studying structural engineering at IIT-Madras, he realised he was losing interest in his studies.

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Courtesy: The Hindu