Real Life ‘Slumdog Millionaire’: Poor Boy From Slum Area Becomes First Scientist From Mumbai, To Join ISRO

Slums of Mumbai have been famous, ever since they came into existence. Many a time, people who come out of these slums have also brought them in the news for wrong reasons. But 25 year old Prathamesh Hirve, who lived in Filter Pada slums of Mumbai, has achieved a distinctive feat, which has brought glory for the slums, as well as the city of Mumbai.

Filter Pada slums are amongst the most heavily populated ones in Mumbai, where Prathamesh used to live in a small 10×10 house. Despite his humble background, he aspired to be an engineer and a space scientist. But his family and friends advised him to go for arts, as they considered the subject to be comparatively ‘easier’ and ‘cheaper’ for him to study.

Studying in a Hindi-medium school, made it more difficult for Prathamesh. He says, that the initial 2 years of the diploma course were really tough because of language issue, as it was difficult to translate the complicated words, used in engineering terminology. He sat on the backbenches to escape the professor’s attention, so he wouldn’t be asked questions, which he couldn’t answer.

However, gradually Prathamesh was able to become fluent in English, to the extent of using it impromptu while doing his internships. Realizing that Prathamesh was working very hard, his parents began to support him. Last year, Prathamesh sent an application to the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), as he always dreamed of joining it. His application was put in waiting list by ISRO, but he didn’t lose hope.

Prathamesh’s hard work bore fruit, and he is now the first Mumbaikar to join ISRO, as a scientist. He’s one of the 9 people, selected out of 16,000 applicants. He is elated to have finally tasted success, after 10 years of perseverance, and will be posted in Chandigarh. He now plans to give his parents all the comforts of life. His poor parents don’t understand what he has exactly achieved by getting a job at ISRO, but nevertheless they’re proud of their son.

Mr Sushant is an intellectual with corporate work experience in reputed international companies. He has a wide spectrum of interests and knowledge on subjects ranging from contemporary geopolitical environment to history, sociology, economics and beyond. He pens down exciting and inspirational stories and shares his views on various issues exclusively for The Youth's readership. You can follow him on Twitter @OfficeOfSA