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Inspiring Story: IIT-Guwahati Student with Cerebral Palsy Lands Dream Job at Google

Pranav Nair, 22, who has cerebral palsy and is wheelchair-bound, overcame several difficulties to study computer engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati (IITG) and win a dream job at Google.

The journey since childhood to getting a placement in the globally renowned tech company was not easy but with the support of his parents and faculty at the institute, he succeeded in achieving his goal of becoming a software engineer, Pranav told PTI.

”As a child, my struggle mainly revolved around two fronts – the first was academic as I faced a lot of hassles in logistics. While my parents believed firmly that I attain education at a mainstream school, most schools were reluctant to give admission to a student like me for various reasons – for instance, they may have to shift classrooms to the ground floor, install elevators, or provide certain additional support to me”, he said.

“Besides, being in a wheelchair makes traveling not so easy as I always had to depend on someone and specific modes of transport which used to add to my burden of studies,” Pranav added.

“The other aspect of my struggle was at a personal level as people, including friends, tend to have a different perspective about a disabled person. As a child, I had to skip many childhood pleasures such as picnics, treks, sports, and others but I found solace and success in other activities, particularly public speaking”, he said.

Pranav pointed out that the determination he has developed over the years can be primarily attributed to his parents. He said, “My parents provided me with a platform where I could dream beyond ordinary norms. They were able to gauge through the million small hassles and make things easy and possible for me during various phases of my life. They have been there for me physically, financially, and above all emotionally.”

After finishing school in Muscat, Oman, Pranav aspired to be a doctor, but his parents advised him to consider a vocation in which he could flourish without being limited by his physical talents.

”My passion and love of computers inspired me to pursue a career as a software developer. Fortunately, I was able to acquire a seat at an IIT in Computer Science and Engineering with a rank of 27 in the Person with Disability (PWD) category, Pranav explained.

Pranav stated that technology has made his life more simple and fulfilling compared to what it was when he was a child. “I hope that I can contribute in ways that would be able to make the lives of other people more accessible and welcoming, using technology’,” he said.

“I did not face too many challenges in IIT Guwahati. Whatever difficulties I had faced in school were resolved seamlessly, and living in a hostel has helped me learn self-survival skills and be more independent,” recalled Pranav.

For Pranav, IITG has been a stepping stone as the institute gave him a platform with many opportunities to grow – be it placements hackathons, inter IITs, clubs, and more.

“Being surrounded by a highly ambitious cohort of students, with each doing something impactful and different, has inspired me to learn more and my growth has been holistic,” Pranav said.

It was Pranav’s seniors at IITG who helped him crack two internships with Google during an on-campus recruitment drive. Based on his performances during both the stints, he was offered a Pre Placement Offer (PPO) from the tech giant at Bengaluru where he will join in July after completing his graduation.

“Consistent preparation online on various coding platforms along with mock interview and internship experiences in startup companies too helped me to be more prepared and aware of the corporate expectations,” he said.

Pranav’s plans for the present and the future revolve around his career in software, and work that will help the masses. He wishes to give back to society by “transforming people’s lives and making it more accessible” in the manner technology has done for him.

“I also wish that my physical disabilities don’t bother me in any way during my work and that I have an equal platform with work-life balance,” hopes Pranav.

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Source: HT

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