Magnificient Success story of Mary Kom

Mary Kom was born in 1983 in a poor family in Kangathei, Manipur.She is the first daughter of Shri M Tonpa Kom and Smt M Akham Kom. They belonged to Kangathel village, a small village in Churachandpur district in Manipur.

Her parents, Mangte Tonpa Kom and Mangte Akham Kom, worked in jhum fields. Her family background speaks a lot of how Mary overcame hardship and inconveniences and created a name for herself in the arena of world boxing.

She completed her primary education from Loktak Christian Model High School, Moirang till her class sixth standard and St.Xavier School, Moirang up to class VIII. She then moved to Adimjati High School, Imphal for her schooling for class IX and X, but could not pass her examination. She did not want to reappear for her exams so she quit her school and passed her examination from NIOS, Imphal and graduation from Churachandpur College.

Being the eldest, Mary helped her parents work in the fields, cutting woods, making charcoal and fishing. On the other hand, she spent a good time looking after her two younger sisters and a brother.

Mary Kom was interested in sports since her childhood. She took a keen interest in Athletics. when she was in class VI in Loktak Christian Mission School, Moirang and class VII- VIII in St.Xavier School, Moirang. Mary thought that she would become a good athlete one day and carve a name for herself in the discipline. But fate decided otherwise.

She took to sports in an effort to provide some financial support to her family. “I was initially an all-round athlete, and 400-m and javelin were my pet events.

It was the success of Dingko Singh that inspired her to become a boxer. The rise of Dingko Singh and the demonstration of women boxers at the 5th National Games (Manipur) inspired her. When Dingko Singh returned from Bangkok (Asian Games) with a gold, I thought I should give it a try. Dingko’s success triggered a revolution of sort in Manipur and surprisingly I found that I was not the only girl who was drawn into boxing,” she said.

She began boxing in 2000 and was a quick learner who preferred to be put through the same paces as the boys around her. “In just two weeks, I had learnt all the basics. I guess I had God-given talent for boxing.”

Mary had tried to hide her interest in boxing from her family, since it was not considered as a sport for them. Her father scolded her when a photo of her winning the state boxing championship came in the newspaper. This, however, did not deter her from pursuing a career in boxing.

“I still remember I was castigated by my father who said with a battered and bruised face, I should not expect to get married. He was furious that I took to boxing – a taboo for women – and he did not have the slightest idea about it. But my passion for the sport had got the better of me and I thank my cousins who coaxed and cajoled my father into eventually giving his nod. I’m happy that I did not let anybody down,” she told in September 2004.

Mary Kom decided to enter into the ring with determination and strong will. To pursue her dream of becoming a world class pugilist, she joined Sports Authority of India, Khuman Lampak and underwent an intensive training from coach and mentor, Shri. Ibomcha Singh.

At a tender age of 18, Mary made her debut at the first Women World Boxing Championship, after just one year of starting to learn boxing, which was held at Pennsylvania, USA. At her debut event itself, she won a silver medal in the 46 kg weight category .A year later, she went on to win the gold at the second Association Internationale de Boxe Amateur (AIBA) World Women’s Senior Boxing Championship. held at Antalya, Turkey.

Mary Kom is a mother of twin sons. In 2008, she came back from a two-year maternity break to clinch her fourth boxing gold in World Championships. That instantly won her the name “Magnificent Mary’.

The family came to know of the problem in her son Khupneivar’s heart when he was four years old. After consulting with a doctor friend who is now based in Chandigarh, Mary decided to have the procedure done at Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research in Chandigarh, which is close to NIS, Patiala, where she has been training. Mary Kom fought Asian champion Kim Myong Sim in the title bout at the Asian Cup women’s boxing tournament in Haikou, China, little Khupneivar cheered for mummy from his hospital bed in Chandigarh.

Mary Kom’s Quotes

“Don’t give up as there is always a next time. Think that if Mary Kom, a mother of two, can do it, why can’t you?.

“I do not only rely on my technique or strength but also on my mind,”

“To be a successful boxer one must also have a strong heart. Some women are physically strong but fail when it comes to having a strong heart. One also must have the zeal and the right fighting spirit,” says Mary kom.

“We work harder than men and are determined to fight with all our strength to make our nation proud. God has given me the talent and it’s only because of sheer grit and hard work that I have made it so far.”

“If I, being a mother of two, can win a medal, so can you all. Take me as an example and don`t give up”.

“People used to say that boxing is for men and not for women and I thought I will show them some day. I promised myself and I proved myself”

“Boxing is not easy. When I started, my male friends would say it is not a woman’s sport. But I say if men can do it then why not women.”

Ms. Kom said marriage and motherhood also posed as a challenge to her. “When I had two children even my father did not believe in me, let alone others. However, my family’s love and support helped me to reach my dream.”

Likening her story to that of David facing Goliath, Mary Kom says, “I always remember I am also so small and Manipur is very small, but if I pray and if I do very hard work then I will win.”

Mary Kom is a five time successive World Boxing champion, a biennial amateur boxing competition organised by the International Boxing Association (AIBA). She is the only woman boxer to have won a medal in each one of the six World Championships. As of June 2012, she is ranked world no. 4 in the 51 kg women’s category by AIBA. She has more than three Asian titles and eleven National titles under her belt.

She is a recipient of the Arjuna Award, the Padma Shri Award, the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award and a special award from AIBA.
Mary Kom created history by becoming first person from north east to win bronze medal in Olympics 2012.

Mary Kom has overcome gender bias, poverty, the limitations of her small size, and the disadvantages of the small region to win the olympic medal for boxing. She is an inspiration not only for the North-Eastern people but also for women who endure hardships on a daily basis.

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Cliff Young – 61 yr old farmer who Won the World’s Toughest Race

Cliff Young was born on 8th February 1922 and spent his first few years living in an old bark hut with his family. They struggled during his early years and also during the depression. His father had to take work wherever he could and manage the farm at weekends.

Cliff grew up in a farm spread over 2000 acres and he used to manage around 2000 sheep. He was forced to run almost continuously to effectively manage the sheep roaming in the farm.

Cliff started professional running at the age of 56 and his first fun run was the 1979 Adidas Sun Superun. The 16 kilometre course crossed the Westgate Bridge and was amongst the first events in Australia to capture the start of the fun run boom. He ran a very respectable 64 minutes and was even interviewed by the Melbourne media.

Cliff produced another three hour performance in the Melbourne Marathon the following year and finished forty third. The TV Commentator doubted Cliff’s ability, thinking that he must have come in from a side street before finishing!.

Every year, Australia hosts 875-kilometer endurance racing from Sydney to Melbourne. It is considered among the world’s most grueling ultra-marathons. The race takes five days to complete and is normally only attempted by world-class athletes who train specially for the event. These athletes are typically less than 30 years old and backed by large companies such as Nike.

In 1983, Cliff Young showed up at the start of this race. Cliff was 61 years old and wore overalls and work boots. To everyone’s shock, Cliff wasn’t a spectator. He picked up his race number and joined the other runners.

He arrived at the start with the feeling that the other runners were looking at him with disdain. He knew he had something to prove.

The press and other athletes became curious and questioned Cliff. They told him, “You’re crazy, there’s no way you can finish this race.” To which he replied, “Yes I can. See, I grew up on a farm where we couldn’t afford horses or tractors, and the whole time I was growing up, whenever the storms would roll in, I’d have to go out and round up the sheep. We had 2,000 sheep on 2,000 acres. Sometimes I would have to run those sheep for two or three days. It took a long time, but I’d always catch them. I believe I can run this race.”

Cliff’s training was growing up on a farm, herding sheep before storms – 2,000 sheep on 2,000 acres. Sometimes he would run for two or three consecutive days, and this race would be no different.

When the race started, the pros quickly left Cliff behind. The crowds and television audience were entertained because Cliff didn’t even run properly; he appeared to shuffle. Many even feared for the old farmer’s safety.

In order to compete, one had to run about 18 hours a day and sleep the remaining 6 hours. The thing is, Cliff Young didn’t know that!

When the morning of the second day came, everyone was in for another surprise. Not only was Cliff still in the race, he had continued jogging all night. It was on the first night that Cliff and his crew accidentally rewrote the rule book about multi-day ultra running. They pulled off the road for a six hour break. Cliff was awakened only a short time later, thought to himself that it was a quick sleep, then headed for the road. It was still dark and it only took Cliff and his crew a short time to realize that he had only slept for two hours! Regardless, Cliff felt good and the consequences were written into Australian athletic history.

Eventually Cliff was asked about his tactics for the rest of the race. To everyone’s disbelief, he claimed he would run straight through to the finish without sleeping.

Cliff kept running. Each night he came a little closer to the leading pack. By the final night, he had surpassed all of the young world-class athletes. He was the first competitor to cross the finish line and he set a new course record.

When Cliff was awarded the winning prize of $10,000, he said he didn’t know there was a prize and insisted that he did not enter for the money. He ended up giving all of his winnings to several other runners, an act that endeared him to all of Australia.

Cliff became a national hero after his amazing win in the 1983 inaugural Westfield Sydney to Melbourne run and since then has participated in almost 20,000 km of ultra marathons. Since turning 60, he has set six world endurance records.

Cliff came to prominence again in 1997, aged 76, when he attempted to raise money for homeless children by running around Australia’s border. He completed 6,520 kilometers of the 16,000-kilometer run before he had to pull out because his only crew member became ill.

Cliff was at the 1999 Coburg 24 Hour Carnival when he completed 147 km. A storm came through in the evening which sent most of the competitors scurrying for cover but not the 77 year old Cliff. He was leaning forward and kept going through the wind, rain and sleet.

    Quotes of Cliff Young

“I think I can do it. In fact, I am sure I can do it. Only death will stop me. If I get run over by a semi-trailer that is the only thing that will stop me. Of course, I hope I don’t because I have a lot of living to do after this.”

“Get out of your wheelchairs and start doing a few laps, if you can. If you don’t get any exercise your joints start seizing up like a rusty engine. The doctors once told me I had arthritis in my joints and to take it easy, so I said “I’ll fix that up, I’ll run it out”. So I kept running and it disappeared. It is like rust that gets into a vehicle. Well, I think it was like rust in me. I reckon you have to keep your joints moving. Absolutely. No matter what you do, you have to keep moving. If you don’t wear out, you rust out, and you rust out quicker than you wear out.”

See this inspiring video about Cliff Young

Though Cliff young started professional running only at 56 he created several world records due to his self confidence and will power. He was able achieve so much even in the absence of shoes of international standards and lack of professional training by coaches. Inspiring life of Cliff young will definitely inspire young athletes to aspire for international awards.

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Inspiring story of Erik Weihenmayer, the first blind man to reach Mount Everest

Erik Weihenmayer is one of the most exciting and well-known athletes in the world. Despite losing his vision at the age of 13, Erik has become an accomplished mountain climber, paraglider, and skier, who has never let his blindness interfere with his passion for an exhilarating and fulfilling life.

Erik was born in 1968 with a rare eye disease called retinoschisis. The disease rendered him legally blind. It progressed into glaucoma, and by age 13 Erik was totally blind.By the time he got to high school, Erik was completely blind. At first, he had a difficult time admitting his loss of vision, but ultimately he faced it and decided he wouldn’t let it hold him back.

In his book, Erik explains: “Prior to my going blind, I wasn’t allowed to participate in any contact sports; my weak retinas might break away faster. Now that I was totally blind, there were no limitations; there was no more risk of me losing my remaining sight. In a sordid way, going blind had set me free.”

The summer after his freshman year, Erik attended wrestling camp. Just as things were starting to fall in to place, Erik was hit with another devastating blow – his mother was killed in an accident. For Erik this was even more horrifying than losing his sight. But, through the strength of his family and their commitment to each other, Erik persevered.

He joined the high school wrestling team and became its captain. In 1987 Erik graduated from Weston High School in Connecticut. Erik first tried rock climbing when he was 16, three years after he went blind.

At first, when his dad suggested Erik attend a skills camp for blind teens, Erik wasn’t crazy about the idea. But he went and something incredible happened: He learned to rock climb. “It was as though my senses had awakened,” writes Erik. “Never again would I thunder down a basketball court on a fast break or jump a dirt bike over a ramp… But one hundred feet above tree line with the sun in my face and a sound of openness all around me, none of that seemed to matter as much, because I had just discovered I could climb.”

Erik’s father, Ed Weihenmayer, encouraged Erik to challenge the ideas of what a blind person can and cannot do. Ed took Erik and his brother hiking often and sent Erik to adventure camps for blind youth where he learned to mountain climb. The seeds were planted early for a life of exploration and adventure.

After that, there was no stopping Erik. He graduated from Boston College and went on to receive a master’s degree in Middle School Education. He worked as a middle school teacher and wrestling coach for a couple of years before deciding to dedicate most of his time to outdoor activity.

in 1997, he summited Kilimanjaro, the Roof of Africa, where he was married at 13,000’ on the Shira Plateau. Erik and his wife Ellen live outside of Denver, Colorado. They have a daughter, Emma.

Erik joined Mark Wellman – the first paraplegic to climb the 3000-foot face of El Capitan, and Hugh Herr – a double-leg-amputee and scientist at Harvard’s prestigious prosthetics Laboratory, to climb an 800-foot rock tower in Moab, Utah. As a result of their successful climb together, the three formed No Barriers, a non-profit organization with a goal of promoting innovative ideas, approaches, and assistive technologies which help people with disabilities.

In 1999 Weihenmayer turned back short of Aconcagua’s summit. He cited poor weather conditions and pain in his eyes at high altitude among the reasons. (One characteristic of the most common types of glaucoma is increased pressure in the eyes which ultimately damages the optic nerve.) Later Weihenmayer had laser surgery treatments for his glaucoma prior to the climb.

“It made all the difference. I didn’t feel pain until I hit 19,000’. But when I did, it felt like someone stabbed me in the eye with a fork. Drugs and eye drops made it manageable this time,” Weihenmayer says.

For Aconcagua, he and his climbing partner and lead, Chris Morris, braved severe winds, minus 70 degrees below zero weather, and a 4 a.m. departure time, to enjoy 20 minutes at the summit. At one point, Weihenmayer spent nearly three hours climbing an exposed ridge, un-roped to his partner, and unable to hear his lead due to high winds. His only guide was packed snow. He knew if he was walking on rock, rather than snow, he was off the path.

“When you go blind, you wonder what you will be capable of. Climbing begins to answer those questions,” Weihenmayer says.

In the same way, “Part of my motivation on this climb was trying to understand this disease and its limitations. What can one expect from their life, living with glaucoma?” Weihenmayer explains. “If I can go to such high altitudes with such high pressure in my eyes….that’s pretty encouraging for everyone living with glaucoma.”

On May 25, 2001, Erik Weihenmayer became the only blind man in history to reach the summit of the world’s highest peak – Mount Everest.

At the age of 33, on September 25, 2002, he became one of the youngest of the elite “Seven Summiteers” – approximately 100 people who have climbed all seven summits, the highest peaks on each of the seven continents.

In July of 2003, as part of the four-person team “No Boundaries,” Erik participated in the 2003 Arctic Team Challenge in Ammassalik, Greenland. The challenge included mountain biking, mountain trekking, climbing, glacier trekking and canoeing.

Additionally, he has scaled El Capitan, a 3300-foot overhanging granite monolith in Yosemite; Lhosar, a 3000-foot ice waterfall in the himalayas; and a difficult and rarely climbed rock face on 17,000-foot Mt. Kenya.

Since the beginning of his climbing career, Erik has faced skepticism from many critics. In his book, he answers their questions:
” I refused to be the weak link of the team. I wanted them to put their lives in my hands as I would put mine in theirs. I would carry my share. I would contribute as any other team member. I would not be carried up to the mountain and spiked on top like a football. If I were to reach the summit, I would reach it with dignity.”

Weihenmayer enjoys breaking through perceived barriers, believing that these public perceptions are often more limiting than blindness itself. But his message about “daring to fail” and “not letting obstacles stand in the way of the dreams of our lives” resonates with all people, blind and sighted.

Erik is an acrobatic skydiver, long distance biker, marathon runner, skier, mountaineer, ice climber, and rock climber.Erik is also a certified sky and scuba diver.In addition to being a world-class athlete, Erik is also the author of the book, Touch the Top of the World, published in ten countries and six languages.

Erik’s second book, ‘The Adversity Advantage: Turning Everyday Struggles Into Everyday Greatness’, co-authored with business guru and best selling author, Dr. Paul Stoltz, was released by Simon and Schuster in January, 2007. Through Paul’s science and Erik’s experience, the book shares seven “summits” for harnessing the power of adversity and turning it into the never-ending fuel to growth and innovation.

Erik’s award winning film, ‘Farther Than the Eye Can See’, shot in the same stunning quality HDTV format as the ‘Star Wars’ prequels, was ranked in the top twenty adventure films of all time by Men’s Journal.

Erik’s speaking career has taken him around the world, from Hong Kong to Switzerland, from Thailand to the 2005 APEC Summit in Chile. He speaks to audiences on harnessing the power of adversity, the importance of a “rope team,” and the daily struggle to pursue your dreams. Clearly, Erik’s accomplishments show that one does not have to have perfect eyesight to have extraordinary vision.

Source: Eric’s website –

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Success story of Satyendranath Bose – the Indian behind God’s particle

The discovery of a new subatomic particle, possibly the Higgs boson considered “a key to the cosmic riddle”, has put the spotlight once again on Satyendra Nath Bose,the Indian scientist from whose surname the word ‘boson’ is derived.

Satyendranath Bose was born on the first of January 1894 in Calcutta. Satyendranath was the eldest of his seven children; the rest were all daughters. His father Surendranath was employed in the Engineering Department of the East India Railway. He later set up his own chemical and pharmaceutical company.

Though Surendranath Bose lost his wife at an early age, without losing heart, he brought up all his children well.
Satyendranath Bose’s mother, Amodini Devi, had received little formal education but she skilfully brought up her large family of seven children.

His primary education began in the local English language school established by the British during the colonial period in India. When the British decided to divide the province of Bengal into two administrative units in 1907, his father transferred Bose to a Bengali-language secondary school. There he was encouraged in his interest in science by his headmaster and his mathematics teacher. An early influence was his physics teacher Jagadischandra Bose.

Satyendranath moved to the Hindu School in 1907. It was here that his interest in mathematics and science began, and as is so often the case, it was due to an outstanding mathematics teacher coupled with encouragement from the headmaster. As a student of the Hindu High School in Calcutta he established a new record, scoring 110 marks for a maximum of 100 in mathematics. He had solved some problems in mathematics by more than one method. That was why his teacher gave him more marks than the maximum. Zeal for work and eagerness to learn new things had taken root in him even in his childhood. Young Satyen loved to improvise apparatus for his experiments. At school, in collaboration with his fellow students, he constructed a telescope and other scientific instruments.

Bose later attended Presidency College, also in Calcutta, earning the highest marks at each institution while fellow student Meghnad Saha came second. At Presidency College, he met great scientists like Jagdish Chandra Bose and Prafulla Chandra Roy, who inspired him to take up a career in scientific research.

At the age of nineteen, Bose became a graduate. On the 5th of May 1914, at the age of twenty, In 1920, he completed his post graduation, getting the M.Sc. degree.

Bose started his career in 1916 as a Lecturer in Physics in Calcutta University. He served here from 1916 to 1921. He joined the newly established Dhaka University in 1921 as a Reader in the Department of Physics. In 1924,

Bose’s first important contribution in theoretical physics was a joint research paper with saha. The paper titled “on the influence of the finite volume of molecules on the equation of state”, was published in the philosophical magazine in 1918. The next year bose published two papers in the bulletin of the calcutta mathematical society. One was on “the stress equation of equilibrium” and the other “on horpolhod”. Both these papers were on pure mathematics. In 1920 he again published a joint paper with saha on the equation of state in the philosophical magazine. This was followed by bose’s paper “on the deduction of rydberg’s law from the quantum theory of spectral emission” in 1920. This was also published in philosophical magazine. Then there was no publication from bose for three years.

Along with Saha, Bose prepared the first book in English based on German & French translations of original papers on Einstein’s special and general relativity in 1919.

Between 1918 and 1956, Bose published only twenty-six original scientific papers, most of which dealt with mathematical statistics, electromagnetic properties of the ionosphere, x-ray crystallography, thermoluminescence, and the unified field theory.

While presenting a lecture at the University of Dhaka on the theory of radiation and the ultraviolet catastrophe, Bose intended to show his students that the contemporary theory was inadequate, because it predicted results not in accordance with experimental results. During this lecture, Bose committed an error in applying the theory, which unexpectedly gave a prediction that agreed with the experiment (he later adapted this lecture into a short article called Planck’s Law and the Hypothesis of Light Quanta).

The derivation of Planck’s formula had not been to Planck’s satisfaction, and Einstein too was unhappy with it. Bose was able to derive the formula for radiation from Boltzmann’s statistics. The paper, and his method of deriving Planck’s radiation formula, was enthusiastically endorsed by Einstein who saw at once that Bose had removed a major objection against light quanta.This paper was only four pages long but it was highly significant. This little article brought about a great change in the life of Satyendranath.

Bose sent his paper to the philosophical magazine but to his disappointment this time his paper was turned down.
Under these circumstances, Bose re-sent the paper to Albert Einstein in June 1924, with a fervent appeal for his perusal and opinion. “Though a complete stranger to you, I do not feel any hesitation in making such a request,” he wrote.

Einstein immediately recognised the significance of this paper. This paper was going to substantiate and revolutionise his theory of photoelectric effect. Einstein himself translated Bose’s paper into German and sent it to Zeitschrift für Physik with his endorsement for publication. With his demigod status, Einstein’s words carried much weight. It was promptly published, and immediately Bose shot into prominence.

Einstein extended Bose’s treatment to material particles whose number is conserved and published several papers on this extension.

Bose’s “error” is now called Bose–Einstein statistics. This result derived by Bose laid the foundation of quantum statistics, as acknowledged by Einstein and Dirac.S. N. Bose’s work on particle statistics (c. 1922), which clarified the behaviour of photons (the particles of light in an enclosure) and opened the door to new ideas on statistics of Microsystems that obey the rules of quantum theory, was one of the top ten achievements of 20th century Indian science.
His work was wholeheartedly supported and appreciated by the leading lights in quantum theory, such as Louise de Broglie, Erwin Schroedinger, Paul Dirac and Heisenburg.

In honour of Bose’ Paul Dirac coined the word ‘Boson’ for those particles which obey Bose’s statistics. In atomic theory, only Fermions (named after Enrico Fermi) and Bosons were named after physicists. What a wonderful distinction conferred on our great scientist.

One kind of boson is the Higgs boson. It is described by physicists in theory, but none has ever seen one yet. The ‘boson’ in the Higgs boson particle, whose search and ultimate detection was one of the longest and most expensive in the history of science, owes its name to Bose.

Now Dacca University opened its eyes and recognized the worth of Bose. At that time he had only a Master’s Degree in Science and had no higher academic qualification. Yet the University readily gave him the money for a tour of Europe.

Bose first visited Paris in 1924. He stayed there for a year. He conducted research in the Madame Curie Laboratory, which had special facilities. Here he became acquainted with several physicists. The next year, he left Paris for Berlin to join Einstein and work with him.

In 1926, Satyendranath Bose was appointed Professor and Head of the Department of Physics., he taught physics to the postgraduate students in Bengali.He was named Khaira professor of physics at Calcutta University in 1945. His students considered him an inspiring teacher and his ability to deliver lectures without notes was legendary. This was a skill he developed as a young man because of his poor vision.

Bose was president of the National Institute of Sciences of India in 1949-1950. He also founded the Science Association of Bengali in 1948. This organization was dedicated to popularizing science in his native language.

Bose became the dean of the Faculty of Sciences from 1952 to 1956. He left Calcutta to become vice-chancellor of Visva-Bharati University in West Bengal, and served in this position for three years. During 1953-55, at the age of sixty he performed a tour de force and published some important papers in Unified Field Theory, showing that his mathematical powers were still as keen as ever.”

Bose served in the upper house of the Indian parliament from 1952 to 1958. He received the Padma Vibhushan In 1958 he was elected fellow of the British Royal Society. In 1959, he was appointed as the National Professor, the highest honor in the country for a scholar, which he held for 15 years. In 1986 S.N. Bose National Centre for Basic Sciences was established by Government of India, in Calcutta in honour of this world renowned Indian scientist.

Bose was a great populariser of science. He strongly felt that it was duty to present science to the common man in his own language. For popularizing science Bose wrote in Bengali. This is the reason why his contribution in popularizing science is not known outside Bengal.

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Success story of dish washer who became a dosa king

Coming from a poor background, in Tamil Nadu’s Tuticorin district, Prem Ganapathy had no choice but to abandon his dreams for higher studies, in order to support his family and siblings.

After Ganapathy completed his tenth standard, he did not want to study further. “My teacher told me that I should continue studying but I told her frankly that I do not want to study. We had lot of financial problems so I wanted to work and earn money, help my family. Even getting water and firewood was an arduous task. We had to walk miles to get water and firewood,” says Ganapathy.

His father had a tobacco business which ended in a loss. He also incurred huge losses in the farm. With seven children, his parents struggled to make ends meet.

The Mumbai saga

He first started out doing odd jobs in Chennai, which fetched Rs 250 a month. He met a young boy who promised him a good job in Mumbai.

“He said if I pay him Rs 200, I would get job with a salary of Rs 1,200. I wanted to leave but knew my parents would not let me go. I was only 17 years old then. So I left Chennai without informing my parents,” says Ganapathy.

They got down at Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, a place where thousands of migrants land every day in search of a better livelihood.

“I was scared but I was willing to take the risk. We took a local train to Bandra and I was eagerly waiting to see where I would begin my new career. He took me to a tea shop and vanished. My worst fears came true. He had just dumped me there,” Ganapathy reminisces.

There was no job as the man promised. Instead he was abandoned in Bandra, a Mumbai suburb. Hunger was his only companion when he roamed the streets of Mumbai in search of a job. But this boy did not lose hope, he decided to stay back and fight for survival.

“My father instilled in me a lot of positive energy. This is what kept me going strong. I have tried to see an opportunity in every loss.”.

The first job

It was the most unforgettable day in his life. He could not speak Hindi, he did not know anyone in the city nor did he have any money. Finally, he met a friendly taxi driver and told him his story.

“He took pity on me and said they can collect some money and send him home. The train fare was Rs 121 then. But I said I will not go back home. I will do some work and live here. I slept in the temple compound till I found a job in a bakery in Mahim to clean pizza-baking vessels. I used to sleep in the shop itself,” he says.

After working there for six months, he found another job, to deliver pizza bread to a hotel in Chembur. Later, he moved to Navi Mumbai where he started working as a dishwasher in a restaurant called Gurudev.

“As a Tamilian, I faced discrimination in the beginning. We were given only kitchen work to do. After a while, I started to move out of the hotel, to give tea/coffee to shopkeepers around that area. I used to earn Rs 1,000, three times more than the other boys as this service was based on a commission basis,” he says.

A sincere worker

Ganapathy was meticulous and sincere in his work. Unlike others, he never got into squabbles with anyone.

“I used to keep a note of every person’s requirement, some wanted strong tea, some wanted it without sugar. So I established a good rapport with the outside world. One person who had a small business saw that I was enterprising and hard working so he suggested that we open a food stall on the street on a joint partnership. He invested the money and told me to do the work and he promised me half of the profit,” he says.

The stall near the market area did good business. But the person duped him. He refused to give Ganapathy any share of the profit as promised and said he would give only Rs 1,200 as salary. So he called off the partnership and decided that it is best to do something on his own.

The food stall business

Ganapathy realised that starting a food stall would be the best way to earn good money. Two years after he landed in Mumbai, in 1992, he went back home, got his brothers to help him. “I borrowed some money from friends and rented a handcart for Rs 150. It was really difficult in the initial days. Many times, the municipality vans used to come and pick our handcart. But I was very positive and determined. I never gave up hope,” says Ganapathy.

“I scored on account of cleanliness and the variety of food I offered. I got the recipes from my mother and brought the masala from my village. . . so the food I offered had a distinct flavour, which made it an instant hit.”

A turning point

Finally, in 1998, Ganapathy decided to take a kiosk outside the Vashi railway station in Navi Mumbai to open the first outlet called Prem Sagar Dosa Plaza. Fortunately he got good response from the first day itself. “I added more variety to the menu. Along with his dosa outlet, I also tried my luck by investing in a Chinese restaurant, but it flopped. However, I tried to add the Chinese flavour in the dosas, which worked very well,” he says.

His experiments with dosas resulted in exotic varieties like American Chopsuey, Schezwan Dosa, Paneer chilly, Spring roll dosa to name a few. Within a year, Dosa Plaza had created 25 original varieties of dosas.

“In 2003, a new mall called Centre One opened in Vashi. The people from mall management team who knew me suggested that I open an outlet in the mall.”

So Prem Sagar Dosa Plaza joined the big league of restaurants to open a swanky outlet in the mall which attracted a lot of attention. Dosa Plaza has indeed become a runaway success.

Today, Dosa Plaza has 35 outlets across 10 states in India with a turnover of over Rs 5 crore (Rs 50 million).

His biggest recognition came when his story was published in Rashmi Bansal’s book ‘Connect the Dots’ as one of 20 best enterprising individuals without an MBA.

Any regrets on not studying? “Well, not at all. But speaking in English becomes difficult when I go abroad. Other than that I don’t think I would have learned so much in any school. My experience has been my biggest teacher,” he says.

He has risen from humble dishwasher to owner of the fast food chain ‘Dosa Plaza’.

Does he ever think about the man who abandoned him? “In a way, I reached here and achieved so much because of him. I wonder where he is now…”

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Success Story of Sminu Jindal, MD, Jindal Saw Ltd.

You might be excused if you gape at Sminu Jindal. She is quite used to it. Busy shuffling around in her wheelchair as she goes about her office work, it takes a while to realise that she is paralyzed waist downwards. She makes multitasking on a wheelchair look so simple. As the managing director of Jindal Saw, one of the flagship companies of USD 12 million of OP Jindal Group, Sminu has been instrumental in the diversification for pipe manufacturer to one with interest in infrastructure, transportation, logistics and fabrication.. .Sminu Jindal is the first lady entrant in the country to do her gender proud by breaking the glass ceiling in the steel, oil and gas sector in India. She is a woman of steely resolve. Sminu Jindal broke the stereotypical Marwari family mould and stormed the corporate boardroom that too in a wheelchair.

In spite of being confined to the wheelchair due to an accident at the age of 11, she has not allowed her spirit to be chained. On the contrary, it has added wheels to her determination to take life head on.

After completing her elementary schooling in Delhi, Sminu had joined the boarding at the prestigious Maharani Gayatri Devi School in Jaipur with a view to acquire holistic quality education. It was on one of those drives back home from Jaipur to Delhi that she met with a near fatal accident.

It was while she was returning to Delhi from her school, Maharani Gayatri Devi Girls’ School in Jaipur, that her car met with a terrible accident in which she lost movement of her lower body. “It took me a long time to realise what had happened to me, but my parents stood rock solid in helping me cope with the repercussions of the accident.

She was fortunate to survive but sustained a severe spinal cord injury and brain hemorrhage. The spinal injury left the lower half of her body paralysed. The next few years were very difficult and traumatic for her. She was just a young child of eleven in class six. As she woke up to the reality facing her, she shuddered at the thought that it would no longer remain the playful carefree life she had known. What hurt her most was the realization that she would no longer be able to dance. She was a talented Kathak dancer and a distinction holder at Bhartiya Kala Kendra at the age of nine.

Sminu does not flinch a bit while talking to me about this agonizing phase of her life and recalls with serene equanimity that it was indeed a period of complete personal mess. It was her family that became a deep source of emotional and psychological support for her in those moments. Her parents, especially her mother Arti, instilled the confidence in her that she would be able to go to a normal school and continue the day-to-day activities. They would encourage her to do the small routine things on her own without seeking anyone’s sympathy or support. She would carry her bag to school, go for tuitions outside home like her sisters did and later joined a regular co-ed college after studying in a convent. Thus she ‘was cared for but was not pampered’. This significant training at home toughened her mind and made her self-reliant so that she could face the life ahead with courage.

View her inspiring video by clicking this link.

They never treated me differently from my sisters. My two younger sisters were also very sweet. When we would fight, I would call out to them to come and get thrashed by me and they would come! So it was a very normal upbringing for me where I was never given any special consideration, be it organizing my cupboard or getting stuff from the kitchen. What is great is that once my parents accepted my condition, they educated themselves about it and found out the best possible treatments that would help me grow up the normal way.

They got me a machine that would make me stand up for a few hours everyday, so that I would be able to grow proportionately. I was at a growing age when the accident happened, and being confined to a wheelchair could have hampered the normal growth of my legs.”

And all this does not come out of quivering lips. Sminu is jovial and jests all along. She talks about her condition in the most matter-of-fact way. There is no hesitation or reluctance. She has no problem in accepting her condition, and neither has her husband, Indresh Batra, found it an issue.

They met at a friend’s party where the two got along over “nonsensical banter”. After which one thing led to another and they got married. They have two sons aged six and three. Incidentally, Sminu had a natural conception, after which she went to the US where experts tracked her pregnancy.

“We have a normal family life. Just like my parents, my husband too doesn’t give me any special treatment. We fight like every other husband and wife and indulge our children like other parents.”

Her message is simple: “What makes a person special is her work, her compassion and not her condition.”. It is easy to get impressed by her, since Sminu Jindal is an exceptional and exemplary woman of substance who does not shy away from challenges in all walks of life.

Her organisation ‘Svayam’ (an initiative of S J Charitable Trust) has been working closely with NDMC, ASI, DTC and the Education Ministry of Delhi to make public conveniences units, historical monuments like the Qutub Minar and Jalianwala Bagh, bus queue shelters and government schools accessible to all those with reduced mobility. Next on her agenda is to sensitize tourism in India – to help people with reduced mobility enjoy the splendour of our country.,english/

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100 yr old Fauja Singh becomes oldest in World to complete a marathon

A 100-year-old runner Fauja Singh became the first centenarian and, therefore, oldest person to complete a marathon when he finished the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon.

Born in India in 1911, Mr Singh was a farmer in the Punjab but moved to Britain in the 1960s.

Singh, who is a British citizen, finished the race in a dashing time of 8 hours, 11 minutes and 5.9 seconds and became the world’s oldest marathon runner.

Fauja Singh’s translator and coach Harmander Singh said that Fauja Singh had targeted nine hours as his finish-time goal. He definitely exceeded that goal. No matter. The media was there to greet the man who, apparently, is “affectionately known as the Turbaned Tornado.”

The record-holder “hit the wall” at 22 miles but soldiered on for another two hours and finished in 3,850th place, ahead of five other competitors.

Mr Singh, who took up running 11 years ago after his wife and son died, trains every day by running 10 miles.

Harmandar Singh: ”Running has given him a new focus in life”. “He’s achieved his life-long wish “.

According to the race’s Web site, Singh took up running at the “ripe old age of 89.
He holds the world record for the over-90 category after running the 2003 Toronto marathon in five hours and 40 minutes. His latest feat earns him another spot in Guinness World Records.

Singh jogs or walks an average of eight to 10 miles per day. And he plans to keep running for what he considers a simple reason.

Visit the link given below to know secrets of his health.


“I will carry on running,” he told the marathon’s Web site, “as it is keeping me alive.”
He puts his stamina down to ginger curry, tea and “being happy”.

Mr Singh said: “The secret to a long and healthy life is to be stress-free. Be grateful for everything you have, stay away from people who are negative, stay smiling and keep running.”

As for Singh, he will participate in the torch relay for the 2012 Olympics in London. And he plans to keep running and trying to break records, all of which he does for charity.

Fauja singh has etched his name in history and redefined the words inspiration and endurance.

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Success stories of School Dropouts – Part II

Michael Dell
Position: Founder/CEO, Dell
Market Cap: $30 billion

Most 19 year olds would spend a thousand dollars on a spring break weekend, or a put it toward buying a new car, but Michael Dell spent his $1,000 founding Dell .

The founder and CEO of Dell expanded his company with the idea that ‘technology is about enabling human potential.’ In 1992, he became the youngest chief executive to earn a ranking on Fortune magazine’s ‘Fortune 500′ list. His staff also grew from a one-man operation to 100,000 employees in just eight years.

Today, the company provides information-technology services for global corporations, governments, health care providers, small and medium businesses, education institutions, and home computing users.

Dell is not the only company this CEO has had a hand in creating. Dell founded MSD Capital in 1998 and a year later launched the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, a philanthropic organization for global issues.

Mark Zuckerberg

Position: Founder/CEO, Facebook
Company Value: $100 billion (Recent estimate)

Although Facebook isn’t publicly traded, we can’t leave this chief executive out of a successful college-dropout list-besides you are probably on his site everyday.

Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and CEO of Facebook, showed an early interest in computers. As a child, he created early communication tools and games from his bedroom. In high school, he created an MP3 program and soon received offers from AOL and Microsoft , which he ignored.

After being accepted at Harvard University, Zuckerberg built a program called Facemash, which showed pictures of students and allowed their peers to vote on who was more attractive.

Eventually, word of Zuckerberg’s talent spread and fellow Harvard students Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss asked him to work on an idea for a social networking site called Harvard Connection. Zuckerberg decided to drop out of the project soon after and began work on a different social networking site, which he originally named

Zuckerberg dropped out of Harvard before graduating to put all of his focus on the social networking site, which could be worth as much as $100 billion if Zuckerberg ever takes the company public.

Paul Allen
Position: Co-Founder, Microsoft
Market Cap: $226.2 billion

Paul Allen, who co-founded Microsoft with Bill Gates, his childhood friend, is another chief executive who never got a college degree.

According to Allen’s memoir, ‘Idea Man,’ Allen was inspired to write a coding language when he saw the Altair 8800 computer on the cover of a Popular Electronics magazine. Allen knew Gates and he both had the skills to code a programming language for the Altair and after convincing his friend to collaborate, the pair ushered in a new technological era.

Today, Allen has a multibillion-dollar investment portfolio, which includes multiple technology and media companies, along with a major real estate redevelopment in Seattle.

Allen also owns the Seattle Seahawks football team, the Portland Trail Blazers basketball team, and is part of the primary ownership group for the soccer team Seattle Sounders Football Club. Allen has given away more than $1 billion toward his philanthropic efforts and has said he plans to leave the majority of his estate to charities.

Bill Gates
Position: Co-Founder/Chairman, Microsoft
Market Cap: $226.2 billion

College dropouts such as Mark Zuckerberg and Dustin Moskovitz are not the only successful business founders who attended, and then left, Harvard University. Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft , enrolled at Harvard as a freshman in 1973. Gates, who lived down the hall from Microsoft’s current chief executive, Steve Ballmer, created BASIC, a programming language for the first microcomputer, during his first year of college.

Gates dropped out of Harvard in his junior year to concentrate all his efforts on a company he called Micro-soft with his childhood friend Paul Allen. As if founding Microsoft wasn’t enough, Gates went on to found Corbis , one of the world largest resources of visual information. He also earned a seat on the board of directors for Berkshire Hathaway , an investment company engaged in diverse business activity.

Steve Jobs
Position: Founder/CEO, Apple
Market Cap: $362.4 billion

As a young boy, this college dropout showed an early interest in computers. When he was 12, Steve Jobs, the chief executive of Apple , called Bill Hewlett, co-founder of Hewlett Packard , after finding his number in the phonebook. When Hewlett answered, Jobs said, ‘Hi I’m Steve Jobs. I’m twelve years old and I’m a student in high school. I want to make a frequency counter. I was wondering if you had any spare parts I can have?’

Hewlett gave Jobs the spare parts and hired him that summer to work on the assembly line at his company. During this time, Jobs formed a friendship with Stephen Wozniak, a soon-to-be dropout from the University of California at Berkley.
Jobs enrolled at Reed College after high school, but he later dropped out. He connected once again with Wozniak and the pair quit their jobs to start production on a computer in Jobs’ garage.

There are different versions of how the pair came up with the name for Apple. The best-known story comes from Jobs summer spent working on an apple orchard and his love for the fruit. The bite in the side of the apple is said to be a play on the computer term ‘byte.’

In a biography, Jobs said he was worth more than $1 million when he was 23, $10 million when he was 24, and $100 million when he was 25. Apple went from a garage-based operation to a multi billion-dollar, worldwide corporation, and it all started with two college dropouts tinkering in a garage.

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Inspirational quotes by Steve Jobs

Here are some key quotes from Steve Jobs, the legendary co-founder and former chief executive of Apple Inc, who died after a years-long battle with cancer.

“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do”

“And it comes from saying no to 1,000 things to make sure we don’t get on the wrong track or try to do too much. We’re always thinking about new markets we could enter, but it’s only by saying no that you can concentrate on the things that are really important.”

“It’s really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.”

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

“Innovation comes from people meeting up in the hallways or calling each other at 10:30 at night with a new idea, or because they realized something that shoots holes in how we’ve been thinking about a problem. It’s ad hoc meetings of six people called by someone who thinks he has figured out the coolest new thing ever and who wants to know what other people think of his idea.”

“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”

“There’s nothing that makes my day more than getting an e-mail from some random person in the universe who just bought an iPad over in the UK and tells me the story about how it’s the coolest product they’ve ever brought home in their lives.

That’s what keeps me going. It’s what kept me five years ago, it’s what kept me going 10 years ago when the doors were almost closed. And it’s what will keep me going five years from now whatever happens.

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Indra Nooyi’s Management Mantras for Success

Indra Krishnamurthy Nooyi, Chairman, PepsiCo is one of the world’s 100 most influential people. Here are some words of wisdom from a business woman whom Time magazine has described as a ‘world class leader.’ Read on.

• You give a team of people a set of objectives and goals and get them all to buy into it, and they can move mountains•Aim high and put your heart into it.

• What’s important is trying to be the best and working to get there. And that’s how you fulfill your potential.

• I’m putting my hand up and saying, ‘Able body, ready to work. I can scrub floors to address big issues.

• Work for the right person. Work for a company that wants you to succeed. Don’t play politics and just focus on the job at hand

•Take a stand. Be known for your courage and confidence.

• Success isn’t money, prestige or power because net worth can never define self-worth. True success is being happy with yourself, is being fulfilled. And that comes from devoting your time, your life, to doing what you love the most.

• At the end of the day if I stand back and have regrets, it is never going to work. You just look forward and get on with life.

• What you know is more important than who you know because that’s what gets you ‘who you know.’

• Don’t think of the difficult journey. Think, instead, of the wonderful destination.

• We are too attached to the known security of the past and too wary of the challenging promises of the future. This often leads to complacency or inertia.

• You’ve got to say, at every point in your life, if you were to drop dead, would your epitaph be something that you could be proud of? Is your legacy something that would linger long after you?

• If there is (a glass ceiling), remember it is made of glass and it can be easily broken. All you have to do is try.

• The best test is that I wake up every morning dying to come to work.

• My parents and my grandfather taught me that when you do a job, you got to do it better than everybody else. Simple. You cannot let anybody down.

• When you don’t have a safety net, when you don’t have money to buy clothes for interviews and you are going to a summer job in saris, all of a sudden life gives you a wakeup call and you realise that you have got to work extremely hard to make it happen for you.

• I grew up with a mother who said, ‘I’ll arrange a marriage for you at 18,’ but she also said that we could achieve anything we put our minds to and encouraged us to dream of becoming prime minister or president. She made me learn Indian classical music because that’s what good Indian girls did, but she also let me be in a rock band. ‘You’ve got to be a good Indian woman first,’ she said, ‘but go ahead and dream.’

• As a child in India, my mother would ask a simple but compelling question: ‘What would you do to change the world?’ Today, my answer would be that I want to lead a company that is a force for good in the world.

• We say someone is good company when we enjoy being with them. A good company creates that kind of enjoyment. In the process, it creates a strong sense of identity. People come together in pursuit of the same goals. A team is formed.

• Being a good business starts with being a good employer.

• Good candidates can pick and choose more between companies who make similar offers to them. The deciding factor is the kind of company that they want to work for. They are comfortable in societies with many cultures, they want to work flexibly. They are both more demanding and more in demand. They want success, but not at any price. They want to do some good in the world.

• To be successful in foreign countries, you got to walk a mile in the shoes of those people; while in Rome, do as the Romans do. You retain your Indianness, but you also have to adapt to what that country needs. If you remain too isolated, you will never be successful.

• The toughest thing about transformation is letting your best friends and people you worked with for years leave and go off on their own.

• To attract the best people, we have got to create an environment where people can actually balance life.

• In every change agenda, there is always going to be a percentage of people — like 10% or something — that are not going to agree to the new agenda. They are the casualties of the change. If they have to go, they have to go.

• A good company offers employees a career, not just a job. To describe it as a career shows that we have an enduring interest in someone. They are not here today, gone tomorrow and thanks for what we could take from you.

• You should never wait until somebody is ready to say goodbye to tell them how much you value them.

• Today’s is a war for talent. People don’t come into the company and stay for reasons other than compensation

• Ever since I have been in the work life, I have always used a simple rule: Whatever I did, I had to produce an output that was so much better than what somebody else did. So I would work extra hard at it. More hours, yes. More sacrifices and trade-offs, yes. This is the only journey I know. I don’t know what it is to have the cushy life and go home to watch the 6.00 news.

• Leadership is hard to define and good leadership even harder. But if you can get people to follow you to the ends of the earth, you are a great leader.

• I have a five Cs model for leadership: competence (damn good at getting results); confidence to have the courage to make the tough calls; communication skills, to convey your vision and direction; compass pointed north to your true values; compassion — empathy, not sympathy

• As a leader, I am tough on myself and I raise the standard for everybody; however, I am very caring because I want people to excel at what they are doing so that they can aspire to be me in the future.

• To be a CEO is a calling. You should not do it because it is a job. It is a calling and you have got to be involved in it with your head, heart and hands. Your heart has got to be in the job, you got to love what you do, it consumes you. And if you are not willing to get into the CEO job that way, there is no point getting into it.

‘Click to listen Indra Nooyi’s talk on ‘Follow Your Dreams’

One of the most important things for a leader is to identify their own core competency. In my case, my core competency is my ability to be able to demystify any complicated problem. I continuously strive to enhance that core competency.

• A leader must have the courage and confidence to stand up and defend his/ her ideas.

• Effective communication is the key to success. Clarity and conciseness are critical for effective communication. I urge you to read speeches of great leaders like Abraham Lincoln or John F Kennedy to see how they were able inspire people.

• Consistency is an important aspect of leadership since it helps build trust in those that follow you.

Be honest in appraisals. If people aren’t performing well, help them ‘cross the bridge’ and get where they need to go by examining why they aren’t performing. Raise the bar as the boss.

• Coaches or mentors are very important. They could be anyone — your husband, other family members or your boss. But you cannot pick them. They will pick you.

• Don’t expect to be on the same promotional track as someone who works five days a week if you work three days a week. In less than ideal situations tough it out, try to change it and then leave even if it means not working for some time.

• The minute you’ve developed a new business model, it’s extinct, because somebody is going to copy it.

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