Dreams can be translated into reality if the dreamer has that indomitable will, drive and spark to surge a person on until the goal is attained. In a competitive world, every aspiring mind has a different story to tell and behind every aspirant’s success, there is an interesting backstory which we are unheard of and Jaykumar Vaidya’s story is indeed inspiring which surely needs to be told to inspire the youths of the nation.
24-year-old scientist Jaykumar Vaidya has earned a PhD offer from the iconic University of Virginia in the USA. His struggle from living in slums in Mumbai to jetting off to the US is a perfect example of what one can touch the pinnacle of success with grit and determination. He credits his mother on his achievement. She was always there to motivate him.
“She is the only person in my life who motivates me to live for the next day. I cannot ever repay the debt I owe her. She motivated me, and I did the same for her as well. She is the reason why I never gave up. There were times when I thought about disappearing from home, but I couldn’t leave my mother. Until she’s there, I have to be there. She is my motivation to live, become successful and help the world,” says Jaykumar.
Vaidya lived in Kurla slum area in Mumbai with his mother. As reported by Mumbai Mirror, the condition of his home is also very modest, with the mother-son duo living in one room. The boy was raised by his single mother and his mother Nalini later divorced her husband. Soon, she then started working as a clerk. In 2003, she had to leave due to the poor health of her mother.
Vaidya and his mother survived on a poor diet of vada pav, samosa and chai. Speaking to media, he said, “There was no such thing as lunch or dinner. When we came back by the end of the day, we ate.” However, some assistance from the temple trust helped them traverse through the lean patches of life.
Vaidya’s mother told him that the only way to a bright future was through education only. Despite no money to even pay for school or college fees sometimes, Vaidya’s mother made sure that he got a good education. To back his mother financially, he took up soldering work at a TV repair shop, which earned him Rs 4000 a month.
Being a top-notch talent, while studying engineering Vaidya received three national-level and four state-level medals in Robotics. After graduating, he was roped in by Tata Institute of Fundamental Reseach (TIFR) in the year 2016 with a salary was Rs 30,000. With the salary he earned, he finally was able to renovate his home. “I could finally renovate my house. It was infested with insects, the floor had no tiles and the bathroom was leaking,” he said.
“In my engineering college, I realised that my interest lay in nanoscale physics. Take the example of microelectronics or microtechnology. You are using it right now to speak to me over WhatsApp. Here you have a large number of transistors implemented in a 100-micrometre square area. The subject I took up for my post-engineering research was also related to nanoscale physics. Now, I’m researching how to make nanoscale devices and other stuff,” Jaykumar tells The Better India (TBI).