Published: 18th September 2017
Nothing is stopping this Chennai man on wheels from achieving his dreams
This young 22-year-old has a bright future ahead of him and he sees no obstacles big enough to stop him from realising his dreams
Sometimes even the biggest of challenges that life throws at you seem minuscule if you have confidence, determination and a strong support system - Mohammed Ashiq had all three. At a very young age, Ashiq was diagnosed with Kyphoscoliosis, a deformity of the spine characterized by abnormal curvature of the vertebral column in two planes. Today, he is a graduate in computer engineering from the Indian Institute of Information Technology Design and Manufacturing and even won the award for the best project in is class.
After successfully cracking IIT-JEE, Ashiq had a few options to choose from- including IIT but chose to go to IITDM- Kancheepuram because of its disability-friendly campus. The family resides at Anna Nagar and the commute to the campus which was 35 kilometres from Chennai, was no easy task, "During the first week we travelled to and fro every day. Since classes started at 8, we would leave at 6. When it got too hectic, Ashiq himself suggested staying at the hostel," said his father, K Jamal Mohideen.
At a very young age, Ashiq was diagnosed with Kyphoscoliosis, a deformity of the spine characterized by abnormal curvature of the vertebral column in two planes. Today, he is a graduate in computer engineering from the Indian Institute of Information Technology Design and Manufacturing and even won the award for the best project in is class
Ashiq had never stayed away from family but his parents say that he managed just fine, "His hostel room was on the 12th floor but he had no problem, as there was the lift facility, the room and the bathroom were all suited to his preference and he had friends to assist him, if he needed any help," his father explained. But he did come home almost every weekend (unless he had work, which meant he sometimes didn't go home for months) and since his mother taught in a college about 8-10 kilometres away, he always got home-cooked food every day!
But the highlight of Ashiq's four years is the Chennai floods, much like hundreds of others in Chennai but since he is wheelchair bound, things were a little harder. "The lifts stopped working and nobody could carry him down 12 floors, so he stayed in his room and had two people bring him food. We had no contact with him for two whole days, on the third day we managed to get a signal but only on the fourth day we managed to go and bring him home," his father explained.
Realising dreams: Mohammed Ashiq with his mother after his graduation
Ashiq not only graduated but he also got the award for the 'Best Project', something neither of his parents knew about till he was called on stage to collect it. "It was a complete surprise to us. He only came to know that morning, he could have called and told us but he didn't. So we were very surprised and overjoyed," Mohideen said with a laugh.
Ashiq's next plan is to take a break for a year and work on his physique and his health, both of which had taken a back seat the last few years because of his studies. After a year, Ashiq plans on pursuing a Masters abroad, preferably the UK, "If people go to the USA, they usually stay back but the UK course is just a year so he prefers to study there and come back but he is particular about studying abroad," the proud father said. Eventually, Ashiq wants to pursue his PhD in Artificial Intelligence and work in the same field as well.
"Even his teachers were telling us that he should definitely pursue his PhD because they've been so impressed with the sort of dedication he has shown int he last four years," he added.