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Wings of Fire

When she joined college, Rohini Krishna P rated herself poorly: low on confidence, she was shy and timid. By the second year, she came out of the shell, discovering a new world. A multitude of reasons played its part: a friend was by her side to encourage her, a mentor walked in and a senior who ‘provoked’ her. In two years, she transformed herself into a new individual, brimming with confidence. A final-year Electrical and Electronics engineering Student at Government Engineering College, Thiruvananthapuram, Rohini now dreams to float her own venture.

Rohini shares her inspiring story with Team Fayz

My transformation from an ordinary student to a pro-active one -- one who loves to take up responsibilities and face challenges -- was indeed a time-consuming process. I was studious but was a highly demotivated person who was anxious about marks and highly sensitive to people and their emotions, and their behavior. Those were the 11th grade, and I consider it was the worst phase of my life.

My favourite teacher, Anilkumar Sir, helped me to rise myself from that drowning state. My 12th grade was the best ever time in my life as I started believing in myself and started viewing each and every problem through a different prism (perhaps another perspective), and developed a positive attitude towards everything. First, I aspired to take up a career in Civil Service, but as destiny would have it, engineering sneaked in. It was not even there in my plans. I wrote KEAM only because Anil sir conducted a 16-day free entrance coaching at my school. I attended it only to spend time with my friends and later on put my toil as a token of gratitude towards sir. But somehow I cleared entrance and got admission at Government Engineering College, Thiruvanananthapuram. And there began another phase of dilemma and uncertainty.

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Throughout my first year, I just enjoyed my college life hanging around with friends, attending cultural events, quiz competitions, etc and secured good marks too. I was not at all aware of technological advancements taking place and was indeed less interested in that side too. But my friend was highly interested in technical aspects, and due to his company, I slowly took interest in the technical field. But during my first phase, I was a big zero, who don’t know programming, who lacks knowledge on various boards, sensors, and stuff. One of my seniors used to tease me on this but that was the best thing he had done on me. His words got stuck hard in my mind. A fire raged inside me. I wanted to prove to him that I am capable too. I started learning with his mentorship.

My friends also helped me in the process. I successfully completed my basics. I was like, “Yaay I did it”. I later started attending technical competitions and my first one was Line tracer event at Amritapuri Campus. We lost that competition, but that was a moment for motivation. For Tathva 2017, we made a hovercraft and went for the competition. Even though we didn’t secure any prize, I was very satisfied that our model worked well. I teamed up with Robotics Club in our college there started my active participation in conducting events. At the same time, I joined IEEE too. Later on, my friend Rafi brought the first technical society in our SB, RAS, under IEEE. I supported him in building up the society and organizing and conducting events. I faced several failures during the initial period. But those were the best chapters of my book. Later, I successfully conducted several events and established my network.

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Slowly, my confidence level has increased. I participated for e-Yantra 2017, a robotics competition conducted by IIT Bombay and cleared its first stage successfully. Due to university exams, my team was forced to drop from the competition.

For sponsorship for our Cultural Fest, I barged on to B-HUB campus that was one of the best experiences. I met the CEO of ‘Bloombloom’, Abhilash, who supported me well. Later he shared his story with our team. Those were the times I realized that I am good at meeting new people, interact with them and building a strong network with them. I headed Robosoccer event conducted as part of our cultural fest and that was quite successful.

In 2018, I became the Chair of IEEE RAS, which brought $2000 fund for our SB activities. Later, I conducted several events as well. When floods hit Kerala, we made and distributed around 2000 LED lamps. We, in association with other technical societies of our college, hosted a national-level technical flagship event which got over 400 participants from various districts as well as states. Currently, I am the Secretary of the IEEE SB of our college.

Recently, I participated in IEEE Technology Dissemination Contest for Students (TDCS) conducted by IEEE Pune. It was a national-level event aimed at motivating school children ( esp, girls from rural area) to pursue a career in Science and Technology field. We had to go to four schools (two from urban and two from rural area) and take technical sessions and activities for students from 8th/ 9th/ 10th. We got barely 1 week for the entire competition as we got to know about this competition in the last minute. Based on evaluation from school authorities, we got selected to finals at Pune. There we presented our activities at schools and our track was ‘Space and National Security’. We bagged first prize on that track with a 20K prize money.

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I received the prize from Dr Kasthurirangan (former chairman of ISRO). Also, our Judging panel constituted of Prof Mani G S (worked at DRDO for over 39 years in various capacities including Dean & Director at IAT, Pune. Worked with Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam as well). We had a conversation with Mani Sir. He is such a humble and inspiring personality. His strong motive to restructure our education system still gives him the energy to stand on his own and spread the radiance. This was the best opportunity that I got until now.

Each and every experience added up my skills. I realise that I would flourish if I pursue a career in management field. Now my dream is to start my own company where people get the best work culture where we could develop our community collectively along with enjoying our lives.

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