24-Yr-Old Scientist's Journey From One-Room House In A Slum To One Of World's Best University
Twenty four-year-old scientist Jaykumar Vaidya has earned a PhD offer from the prestigious University of Virginia in USA. Vaidya’s struggle from living in a slums in Mumbai to flying to US is an example of what person can achieve with strong determination.
From One-Room House To Elite University
Vaidya lived in Kurla slum in Mumbai with his mother. As reported by Mumbai Mirror, the road leading to his house is dilapidated. The condition of his house is also very modest, with the mother-son duo living crampedly in the 75 sq ft space.
He was raised by his single mother. His mother Nalini was banished from her marital and was later divorced from her husband. Soon, she started working as a clerk. However, in 2003, she had to leave owing to the poor health of her mother. The trouble did not end there as the divorce battle extended to a gruesome nine years.
Vaidya and his mother survived on a diet of vada pav, samosa and chai. Speaking to media, he said, “There was no such thing as lunch or dinner. When we came back by the end of the day, we ate.” Support from the temple trust helped them traverse through the difficulties of life.
Vaidya’s mother told him that the only way to a better life was through educating oneself. Despite running out of money to even pay for school/college fees sometimes, Vaidya’s mother ensured he got a good education. To help his monther financially Vaidya took up soldering work at a TV repair shop, that earned him Rs 4000 a month.
Being a bright student, while studying engineering Vaidya bagged three national-level and four state-level medals in Robotics. After graduating, he was recruited by Tata Institute of Fundamental Reseach (TIFR) in 2016 with a salary was Rs 30,000. With the salary he was finally able to renovate his home. “I could finally renovate my house. It was infested with insects, the floor had no tiles and the bathroom was leaking,” he said.
Preparing to get admission at the University of Virginia was a challenge itself. The whole procedure, from preparation to application and Visa process, burned a hole in his pocket. He started teaching international students to compensate.
Vaidya’s is a story of steel-strong determination which refused to budge in the face of severe challenges.