Anuj Nirmal is a 15-year-old boy, who took on the challenges that life put in his way and despite the adversity of his circumstances, he hoped to start and own his own tech company, someday. Young children like Anuj Nirmal, are our hope for a better tomorrow, where every child will have adequate opportunities to nurture his/her dreams. Anuj’s parents iron clothes for a living and he is the youngest of three children in his family. Anuj is a determined, headstrong and self-motivated boy who wants to overcome his adverse circumstances.
Anuj shares his vision of becoming the youngest founder of a technology company called Anuj’s Products that would build various tech gadgets. He wishes to use the money he makes from his work, to build hospitals and schools for the poor.
“I was 7 years old when sci-fi and superhero movies began to inspire me. I loved watching how superheroes were able to help the world using technology!” he says with a grin.
Anuj Nirmal has a lot of hobbies which range from writing blogs, building robots, and researching on how to create educational apps, to studying human psychology and predicting how people would behave in different circumstances. He won an inter-school parliamentary debate competition, and also attained the second place in a city-wide Kho-Kho competition organized by the BMC. Besides being a brilliant student, Anuj also pursues his passion for technology, relentlessly and wants to keep learning more about this field.
Quite recently, he participated at a Teach For All conference in which leaders like Wendy Kopp (Founder – Teach For America) and State Senator of Colorado, Mike Johnston were also present. Anuj played the role of a student facilitator.
“Studying in Siddharth Nagar municipal school, I’ve been fortunate to have Teach For India Fellows as my teachers since Grade 3 as they’ve always guided me and supported my ideas. I recently developed an interest in hacking and showed my science teacher and TFI Fellow, Sravanti Didi, how easy it was to hack into her computer. She wisely made me aware about cyber law and ethical hacking and recommended that I look up Ankit Fadia who wrote a book on ethical hacking in 2001 when he was just 15. Another Teach For India fellow, Apoorva Didi, taught us how to debate and construct arguments. I’ve always been a shy public speaker, but Apoorva Didi made me challenge my fear by taking us to the mall and asking us to debate in front of all the people there!”
His love for technology led him down the road less travelled by. He started maintaining a journal of all the ideas that would strike him, and also began to experiment on any object that he found around him.
“I dismantled a DVD player I found somewhere once and used its parts to create a locomotive engine for a small prototype crane lift. My experimenting actually caused a power failure inside the house once which made my parents ban the activity at home altogether!”
Anuj did not have a computer at his home, and so he used to save up money to visit an internet café to update his blog. The cafe owner discovered his ability to type fast and offered him a job.
Anuj has perfected the art of time management, something that even the most qualified educational practitioners today, haven’t achieved. He has a very rigorous schedule, as, he wakes up at 5 am every day, studies for an hour before reaching school at 7 am. Being the head boy of his school, he starts by making sure that everything is clean and ends the day by leading other students to move out of school in an orderly fashion. Since the school does not have a Hindi or Marathi teacher, Anuj attends tuition classes from 2 – 3:30 pm to address his weakness in language studies and then proceeds for Just For Kicks football practice (a TFI-led annual inter-school competition) at 5 pm before heading to the internet café at 7 pm where he works till 9.30 pm.
Young children like Anuj Nirmal, are a beacon of hope, for all children who wish to rise above their present circumstances and wish to do good for humanity.
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