Despite all odds …

I have met people in different walks of life, who have succeeded despite of all odds against them in their lives. All of us face ups and downs in life. Some of us are willing to take it into our stride, while others buckle under pressure. What are the key characteristics of people, who are winners despite all odds ?

I will first share stories of some people I have met in my life or read about them to understand them better. Then we will try to look at the key personality traits of these people so that we can learn from them.

The first story which comes to my mind is that of young daughter of a constable in Tamil Nadu. She grew up in a remote town named Dindigul and fought against all possible restrictions to educate her self. Being a constable’s daughter she could not think of prestigious schools or colleges. But she pursued her dream of making it to the Indian Police Service by her sheer determination and hard work. She was ably supported by her parents and today she is serving the country in another state as an Indian Police Service Officer. Her real name is N Ambika and she is DCP at Mumbai today.

My second story is that of a tribal woman from Jharkhand. She also found it very difficult even to go to school. In spite of excellent academic credentials she could pursue her studies only in vernacular medium as she was not admitted in good schools. She scored 100% in mathematics but was discouraged to pursue her graduation in the same although she was passionate about it. Yesterday, I read that she has been appointed the Vice Chancellor of a University in the same state. Her real name is Sonajharia Minz and she is the Vice Chancellor of Sido Kanha Murmu University ( SKMU) in Dumka, Jharkhand.

The third story is that of a colleague of mine in my first organisation SAIL. His name is Koilvaram. He passed out his school in Tirunveli district of Tamil Nadu and then proceeded to Bhilai in search of a job. Those days most of us learnt typing or shorthand since it was easier to get a job as a typist or a stenographer. He started his career as a stenographer. Then pursued his graduation and post graduation through evening classes on his own earnings and then completed cost accountancy course too. He did not stop there. He applied and became a management trainee along with us in 1981 through his own efforts. He then learnt IT and moved to the insurance sector and held senior positions. Today he is working with the state of California in San Fransico. He has migrated and settled with his family in USA for many years now ( as in the photo above).

What do these stories teach us ? Nothing can stop us from achieving anything in life if we are willing to work hard for it. We need to pursue our passion with perseverance and never give up. Some of the learnings from these stories about the key qualities of these people are :

A. They have a dream and they pursue it till they make it a reality

B. They are willing to face any challenges in the journey of their pursuit.

C. They work hard and make up for their limitations and not go about complaining to everyone what they don’t have.

D. Dogged determination may be the key to their success.

E. Our limitations are more in our mind than in reality.

I have learnt a lot from such people in life. It has helped to face all challenges with a smile. We have many such unsung heroines and heroes all around us. It is for us to get inspired from them and imbibe their learnings.

Life is like a highway and we can keep driving if we want to and reach our destination without complaining about bad roads or the weather or traffic if we make up our mind to do it.

Lets start our drive today.

S Ramesh Shankar

31st May 2020

3 thoughts on “Despite all odds …

  1. Every story is unique and inspiring. The common thread underlying such passion nicely explained here provides great inputs and motivation to pursue such purpose in life. A wonderful read. 🙏


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