While telling his story, Ranjith shared a photograph of his house- an unplastered doorless two-room shed and a leaky tiled roof wrapped with black tarpaulin. He did so, to give us an idea of his living conditions.
Ranjith’s father worked as a neighbourhood tailor and his mother worked as a daily wage labourer at Kelapankayam in Panathur. But, they always emphasized the importance of education. They wanted their children to study, which is why, they admitted Ranjith in a government-run Model Residential School (MRS).
He studied at MRS till Class 10 and he went to another government school for his +2 where he developed an interest in studying economics.
He worked as a watchman for 5 years. And earned around ₹3,500 per month initially. But even then, he never lost interest in studying economics.
I worked as a watchman there for five years — all through my degree and post-graduation days.
For all those years, he studied during the day and he worked as a watchman at night. After completing his post-graduation at the Central University of Kerala in Kasaragod, he joined IIT Madras for his PhD.
Though, after a year he decided to give up on his PhD because he felt “academically inadequate” and “out of place”.
But his guide Dr Subash Sasidharan motivated him to fight back all the negativity. His mentor gave him a nice pep talk and that was it. There was no looking back for him.
From then, I got this strong will to succeed. Many of Subash’s sir students were working in premier institutes. I also wanted to get there.
Ranjith went on to complete his PhD with three publications in four years and three months, and IIT gave him a fellowship for pre-doctoral research for the remaining nine months.
He worked as an Assistant Professor at Christ University, Bengaluru for a few months. Now, he is an Assistant Professor at IIM-Ranchi.
The first thing he wants to do for his family is to build them a house that they can call their own.
The first thing I did was apply for a loan to build a home for my parents and siblings.
He is the most qualified person in our family. I will be next.
Kerala Finance Minister TM Thomas Isaac also shared his story on Facebook and congratulated Ranjith for achieving this incredible feat.
Hope, willpower and hard work is all we need to succeed in life. And, this story proves exactly that.