Prathamesh grew up in Powai Chawl in Mumbai. Most people in this chawl with a population of about three thousand used to work hard and feed. There was no schooling atmosphere in the township, but the good thing was that his father used to teach in government primary school. He had only one dream that son should go out of chawl and live a better life.
Prathamesh’s mood was different from Chaul’s children. After returning from school, his time was spent at home. He did not like playing outside like the rest of the children. The house was small. Or simply say that there was only one room named after the house. In one corner, the mother used to cook and a bed was placed on the other corner, where she used to sit and study. Mother Indubai says – the children of Basti used to give voice to Prathamesh to play, but he liked to read. He had the same tune, to be an engineer.
After passing class eight, he told Papa, I want to be an engineer. Good marks came in 10th. He wanted to take engineering coaching. Earlier, no child had become an engineer in the family. Father did not know much. He could not decide from which institute the son should be coached. The biggest problem was money. Some people said that engineering coaching would cost a hefty fee. Therefore, he thought, advice of a career counselor.
Came to meet the counselor with the son. After talking to Prathamesh for some time, he said, do not waste time in the cycle of engineering. You do not have the ability to become an engineer. It would be better to study with art. Later take a professional course so that you can get the job easily. Prathamesh says – My heart broke after hearing this. A lot of crying came, but I decided that no matter what, I would just be an engineer.
Papa was horrified to see the disappointed face of his son. He explained, don’t worry. It is not necessary to be an engineer. Think about another area. But the son said with confidence, no, I will be an engineer. Just, you support me. He started studying. Engineering coaching was never discussed at home again. After 12th, he enrolled for a diploma in electrical engineering at Bhagubhai Mafatlal Polytechnic. But soon after reaching college, he faced a new challenge. The engineering books were in English.
His studies were done in Marathi language till Xth. Prathamesh says – In class, teachers used to teach in English. All of that was beyond my comprehension. It was difficult to read what is written in books. Once felt that I am not really capable of becoming an engineer. Few months passed like this. The exams were close. One day I reached the teacher and spoke clearly, I do not know English. What to do?
The teacher said to Prathamesh – Do not panic. Take the help of dictionary, try to understand English words. If you face any problem, come to me. I will help He was relieved to hear this. According to the teacher’s advice, he started studying. Worked hard day and night. Gradually the language problem was resolved. After getting a four-year diploma, he was freshly elevated. Meanwhile, he also got job offers, but now he wanted to get a degree. He attended the Indira Gandhi College of Engineering in Navi Mumbai. However some people used to joke that this boy wants to get lost in books instead of doing job. Some would also ask, what would you do after reading this? Prathamesh says – Some people used to laugh at my insistence on becoming an engineer, but my parents gave me the freedom to dream. Despite financial constraints, he supported me.
After applying for an engineering degree in 2014, he applied to the Union Public Service Commission, but did not succeed. He was looking for a job in a better institution. For this, competitive examinations were also given in many institutes. Meanwhile went to Hyderabad for coaching. Applied for the post of Assistant Engineer in ISRO in 2016, but failed the exam. Reapplied in the year 2017. About 16,000 applications were received for the post of nine electrical scientist. In the meantime, many other institutes got job offers, but their heartfelt desire was to go to ISRO. The dream came true in December last year. Isro was selected. Mother Indubai says- I have studied till 8th. I did not know anything about ISRO, but people told how prestigious this institution is in our country. I am very happy thinking that my son is working there now