Neither Poverty nor Father’s Illness could stop this Fisherman’s son from clearing BITSAT
The son of a traditional fisherman from Goa’s farthest corner, Shubham Pagui, 18, will be the first from his family to enrol in an institute of higher education. Coming from Sadolxem in Canacona, the fisherman’s son is not just going to just any college. The teenager has beaten poverty and his father’s chronic kidney ailment to qualify for admission to this premier engineering institute- BITS, Birla Institute of Technology and Sciences.
Shubham is interested in pursuing electrical engineering. But the way all big dreams face challenges, Shubham’s challenge is now to arrange for a loan to fund his higher education dreams.
For Shubham, having completed his elementary education from a local government primary school, real doors of opportunity first opened when he bagged admission at the centrally-funded residential JNV (Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya) in Canacona.
Shubham’s teachers began to regard him as a genius of sorts, seeing him excel in class. Shubham also, despite the hurdles life threw at him, came up as the second highest scorer in the Pune region at the Class XII public exams of the Central Board of Secondary Education.
Shubham’s school principal S Kannan said, “He is pure inherent talent”.
As Shubham told media, his school principal encouraged him and directed him to a local doctor Dilan Desai for guidance on future studies. Dr Desai further motivated him and he then answered the exam for Abhayanand Super 30- a Mumbai charity that trains select students free of cost to crack the BITSAT and IITJEE. He was chosen and spent a year training in Mumbai after his Class XII exams in 2013.
Shubham ranked 4, 501 at the JEE Advanced – 2014 in the OBC category with just a year’s coaching, whereas most students begin training as early as high school to answer the entrance exam of the Indian Institutes of Technology. Though he could not get through in the first round of admissions to the IITs, hee made up for the loss with an impressive score of 350 out of 450 at BITSAT.
A seat now assured at one of the BITS Pilani campus, Shubham has his heart set on studying at BITS Pilani’s Goa campus which is closer to home.
Shubham said, “When I went for the coaching in Mumbai that was the first time that I ever set out to live outside of my home. Subsequently after that one year, I feel better prepared to stay in a hostel”.
Shubham, the son of fisherman Ramdas and housewife Shubha, has two brothers, one still schooling and the other unemployed after completing his Class XII.