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Penury stalked Thangakittu all through his childhood. Growing up he lived in a house without electricity and struggled to pay the nominal fee the village school was collecting. But Thangakittu managed to stay ahead. At 29 now, he works as a software architect in Scotland.
Thangakittu’s family hails from Kaduvetti Aranthangi in Cuddalore district. His father Dhanabal was driving an auto rickshaw for a living in Chennai. Mother Ranganayaki was a housewife. Though they struggled to make ends meet, they admitted Thangakittu and his sister Shobana to an English medium school in Chennai.
Things took a turn for the worse when Dhanabal died when Thangakittu was studying in Class 5. Not only did the family lose the breadwinner, they also had to repay the vehicle loan taken on the autorickshaw. Thangakittu’s uncle Balamurugan supported them to manage these problems but they realized they couldn’t stay in Chennai anymore.
He scored 472 out of 500 in Class 10. But he was stuck since he did not have the means to study further.
The family returned to Kaduvetti Aranthangi. Ranganayaki’s mother had a small house in the village and the three started living there. The house did not have electricity. Ranganayaki started working as an agricultural labourer. “We literally had nothing but my mother was adamant that my sister and I continued studies,” Thangakittu said.
The boy was admitted to St Antony’s High School in the village. Thangakittu stayed in the hostel for free while his sister studied as a day scholar. “The fees were nominal but we struggled to pay them. My uncle Balamurugan rendered his helping hand again. Meanwhile, the school correspondent Fr Stephen Raj realized our plight and waived off the school fees,” Thangakittu said.
He scored 472 out of 500 in Class 10. But he was stuck since he did not have the means to study further. At this stage, the school’s deputy Head Master Mohan alias Ranganathan decided to help Thangakittu. He approached private schools providing free education to toppers.
AKT Higher Secondary School in Kallakurichi offered him a free seat with hostel accommodation. The boy’s uncle also helped him. He studied science and scored 1111 out of 1200 in Class 12. The cut-off marks of 192.5 helped him get a mechanical engineering seat in Sathyabama University. He did not know how to pay the college fees.
He successfully completed BE Engineering with 89.5 % marks in 2015. With a third rank in his department, he was offered jobs in IT and Mechanical Engineering during campus interviews.
When the Agaram Foundation came forward to help him, Thangakittu was surprised because he did not apply. It was his high school Deputy HM who had applied for him. He successfully completed BE Engineering with 89.5 % marks in 2015. With a third rank in his department, he was offered jobs in IT and Mechanical Engineering during campus interviews.
But he preferred the IT field and joined CTS. After training in Hyderabad, he joined their Siruseri campus. Thangakittu is in Scotland now on onsite work. He is working as a software architect and will return after two years of his work there.
For all the penury he suffered as a child, Thangakittu ensures that his family is provided with everything now. He has constructed a house where his mother lives. His younger sibling Shobana is married and now pursuing her M Tech. His hard work and perseverance have brought him a long way.
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