Wheelchair-Bound IIT Student Lands Dream Job At Google Despite Challenges

Wheelchair-Bound IIT Student Lands Dream Job At Google Despite Challenges

The journey since childhood to getting a placement in the globally renowned tech company was not easy but with the support of his parents and faculty at the institute, he succeeded in achieving his goal of becoming a software engineer, Pranav Nair said.

PTIUpdated: Sunday, February 18, 2024, 12:41 PM IST
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Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati |

It was sheer grit and determination that led cerebral palsy-afflicted 22-year old wheelchair bound Pranav Nair to overcome many challenges to study computer engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati (IITG) and land a dream placement in Google.

The journey since childhood to getting a placement in the globally renowned tech company was not easy but with the support of his parents and faculty at the institute, he succeeded in achieving his goal of becoming a software engineer, Nair told PTI.

'As a child, my struggle mainly revolved around two fronts - the first was academic as I faced a lot of hassles in logistics. It was my parents firm view that I attain education from a mainstream school but most schools were reluctant to give admission to a student like me, for various reasons like they may have to shift classrooms to the ground floor or install elevators or provide certain additional support to me', he said.

Difficulty with wheelchair

Besides, being in a wheelchair makes travelling not so easy as "I always had to depend on someone and specific modes of transport which used to add to my burden of studies", he said.

'The other aspect of my struggle was at a personal level as people, including friends, tend to have a different perspective about a disabled person. As a child, I had to skip many childhood pleasures such as picnics, treks, sports and others but I found solace and success in other activities, particularly public speaking", he said.

Nair pointed out that the determination he has developed over the years can be primarily attributed to his parents as they 'provided me with a platform where I could dream beyond ordinary norms, they were able to gauge through the million small hassles and make things easy and possible for me during various phases of my life. They have been there for me physically, financially, and above all emotionally'.

Schooling in Oman

After completing his schooling at Muscat in Oman, he wanted to become a doctor but his parents suggested that he should think of a career where he will excel and not be restricted due to his physical abilities, he said.

'The next calling came from my interest and love of computers and I decided to become a software engineer. Fortunately, I was also able to get a seat in an IIT in Computer Science and Engineering with rank 27 in the Person with disability (PWD) category', Nair said.

Further, technology has really touched to 'make my life more simple and fulfilling compared to what it was when I was a child. And I really hope that I am able to contribute in ways that would be able to make the lives of other people more accessible and welcoming, using technology', he said.

'I did not face too many challenges in IIT Guwahati and whatever difficulties I had faced in school were resolved seamlessly here and living in a hostel has helped me learn self-survival skills and be more independent', Nair said.

IIT is a stepping stone

Professionally, IITG has been a stepping stone as the institute gave me a platform with many opportunities to grow--whether it be placements, hackathons, inter IITs, clubs, among others, he said.

'Further, being surrounded by a highly ambitious cohort of students, with each doing something impactful and different, has inspired me to learn more and my growth has been holistic", Nair said.

It was his seniors at IITG who helped him to crack two internships with Google during an on-campus recruitment drive and based on his performances during both the stints he was offered a Pre Placement Offer (PPO) from the tech giant at Bengaluru where he will join in July after completing his graduation.

Preparation

"Consistent preparation online on various coding platforms along with mock interview and internship experiences in startup companies too helped me be more prepared and aware of the corporate expectations", he said.

Nair's plans for the present and the future revolve around his career in software and to do work that will help the masses.

"I also wish that my physical disabilities don't bother me in any way during my work and that I have an equal platform with work-life balance", he said.

Finally, Nair's wish is to give back to society by "transforming people's lives by making it more accessible in the manner technology has done for me".

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