Laborer's son to NASA scientist: Incredible story of Odisha boy
Hard work and determination never ditch you, and stories on a similar theme rarely fail to inspire us. Like that of Hemant Ojha, a 25-year-old man from Odisha who was born as a son of a stone-cutter but despite all the financial hurdles, he managed to land the position of a junior scientist in US-based National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Here's his story.
Hemant was born into a large family of two sisters and four brothers. He was his parent's third child and his father, Arjun Charana Ojha, worked as a stone cutter in a quarry in Raichhanda village under Dharmasala block in Jajpur district. Living through his father's meagre income, Hemant was introduced to the diet of poverty at an early age.
Unlike the rest of his siblings who couldn't cross the school level, Hemant finished his schooling from the village school. He then completed his B.Sc in Applied Mathematics from Ravenshaw College, Cuttack in 2009. However, due to financial crunch, he couldn't get admission into any college for higher studies. But this didn't dampen his spirits and he gave tuition to acquire money for college.
Thereafter, Hemant completed his PhD in Applied Mathematics from IIT Madras. He told media that last month, he and six others from India landed the opportunity to work as research assistants at NASA. There, they had to present their projects and Hemant's project on weather prediction and data analysis impressed the NASA officials. Hemant is now supposed to reach Washington DC on March 13.
Talking about his difficult childhood, Hemant said, "Despite all the hardships, my father never made me feel any pain. He fulfilled all my needs. He had this dream of seeing me succeed in life." "From my childhood, my father has taught me to work silently and let success make the noise. Finally, his hard work has paid off," a proud Hemant said.
Further, about receiving the appointment letter from NASA, which was signed by its administrator Jim Bridenstine, Hemant said he was "over the moon". Meanwhile, Arjun couldn't stop crying out of happiness for his son. "I worked hard as a stone-cutter in my village and nearby areas. But I have always tried to help my son in his studies," Arjun said.
"I sold a piece of land and my wife's gold ornaments to educate Hemant. Today, I'm extremely happy that Hemant will be joining NASA," Arjun said. Hemant's school teacher, Arun Kumar Kaista said, "He has achieved what thousands of his age-group can only dream of."