MALAPPURAM: 'Forget the limitations and take the first step confidently to achieve your goal' is the message from Sreeraj M, Naithalloor in Ponnani.
Sreeraj overcame his limitations of vision impairment to win the University Grants Commission's (UGC) NET Junior Research Fellowship. He says limitations shouldn't stop a person from achieving the goal.
"Once we set our goal, we should not hesitate to take that first step to our target. Many students like me are hesitant to start working on their dreams considering their limitations," says Sreeraj.
After the JRF result came out last Tuesday, Sreeraj's parents -- Padmini and Chandran -- were not that excited.
Sreeraj had to make them understand that the fellowship would help him add the title 'doctor' to his name. which made Padmini and Chandran feel elated.
Sreeraj's limitations and his poor financial background made his achievement a little sweeter than the success of the other students.
Though Padmini was unaware of the possibilities of higher education, she played a big role in his life.
Growing up, his mother was determined of educating him.
"I used to take him to school and back. Some days, I stayed with him at school throughout the day to help him. I also worked as an LIC agent to find money for my family," Padmini says.
Her husband, Chandran, has health issues and can't go for work.
After completing research in a subject related to Malayalam literature, Sreeraj plans to try for the Indian Administrative Service.
Sreeraj, an MA Malayalam literature final-year (distant) student of Calicut University, says, "Though my friends and mother have helped me achieve this success, people generally don't notice me. I had to choose distance education to do my masters as bus conductors refused to give me a free journey with my bus pass and they behaved rudely."
"However, after the JRF results came out, many people came to see and congratulate me. The change in people's attitude made me feel like I'm also a part of this world," Sreeraj says.