This is cue for a quote from Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist: ‘And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.’ Prathamesh Hirve, a 25-year-old engineer from Mumbai, coming from a slum in Filterpada, Powai, has come to become the first ISRO engineer from Mumbai.
Hirve started off from a 10×10 foot house in a heavily populated Filterpada slums, it took every ounce of Pratamesh’s willpower to focus on his studies and never lose sight of his goal. He achieved a diploma in Electrical Engineering from Bhagubhai Mafatlal Polytechnic College. He then went on to be an intern at Larsen & Toubro and Tata Powers. He then pursued a degree in the same field from Smt Indira Gandhi College of Engineering in Navi Mumbai.
“My aunt and parents had taken me for an aptitude test in south Mumbai. The specialist told my parents that my cousin brother had the aptitude for engineering, but that I should choose a career in Arts instead. I was upset, but refused to give up. I told my parents that no matter what, I would become an engineer, and they believed in me,” MidDay quotes Hirve recalling.
It is needless to say that despite his consistent hardwork, Hirve faced a bunch of obstacles in reaching so far up. Beside the living conditions, another big challenge that he faced was language barrier. Till class 10, Hirve studied all subjects in Marathi. And he was suddenly exposed to complex engineering terms and definitions in English when he went on to study for his diploma.
But that wasn’t reason enough to discourage him. In 2014, when he got his engineering degree, Hirve applied for a coveted place in the Union Public Service Commission. Despite not succeeding at that, he got back up and applied to ISRO in 2016. His application did not go beyond the waiting list. Hirve told MidDay, “By this time, I had started getting job offers, so I started working as an engineer. But my goal was to make it to ISRO, so in May, I applied again.”
And this time around out of the total 16,000 applicants, he got through, where only nine were selected. Hirve will be an electrical scientist at ISRO, the first ever recruit from Mumbai. He will be posted in Chandigarh.