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ISRO’s First Scientist From Mumbai Rose From the Slums to Reach the Stars in 2017

Until he got a job in ISRO, many of his loved ones were unaware of the organisation.

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Aim for the moon, they say, and even if you miss, you will land among stars. Prathamesh Hirve’s journey has led him to both.

Hirve is a 25-year-old engineer from Mumbai who lives in a humble 10 x 10 ft home at Filterpada slums in Powai. However, the walls of this humble home did not restrict his dreams. He is set to become the first ISRO engineer from Mumbai!

Hirve has a diploma in Electrical Engineering from Bhagubhai Mafatlal Polytechnic College. After his internship at L&T and Tata Powers, he decided to pursue a degree in the same field from Smt Indira Gandhi College of Engineering in Navi Mumbai. He was preparing for something great, so great in fact that his family would have never guessed!

But Hirve’s journey did come with its share of obstacles. To begin with, a career counsellor had advised him to pursue Arts instead of Engineering. Although slightly disheartened, this advice did not break Hirve’s determination. “I was upset but refused to give up. I told my parents that no matter what, I would become an engineer, and they believed in me,” Hirve told Mid-day.

It is no easy feat to have an unwavering focus on engineering studies when you live in a densely populated slum that comes with its own share of distractions. His diploma course had set another challenge for him. Till class 10, Hirve had studied all subjects in Marathi. And he was suddenly exposed to complex engineering terms and definitions in English.

Even so, Hirve did not budge.

Picture Source: Flickr

Hirve’s big plans from life would not come so easily for him. In 2014, when he got his engineering degree, Hirve applied for a coveted place in the Union Public Service Commission. He failed.

This failure made him shift his plan to the prestigious ISRO in 2016. His application did not go beyond the waiting list. Hirve told Mid-day, “By this time, I had started getting job offers, so I started working as an engineer. But my goal was to make it to ISRO, so in May, I applied again.”

This time, out of the total 16,000 applicants, nine got selected. Indeed, Hirve was one of them!


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Until he got a job in ISRO, many of his loved ones were unaware of the organisation. His mother Indu told Mid-day, “I am a Std. 8 pass, at first, I did not understand what this job meant. When my husband explained that our son would be working with such an elite organisation, I was in tears. I remembered all the hard work he had put in since childhood- this is what he had wanted to achieve. I am very proud of my son. His hard work has paid off.”

Hirve will be an electrical scientist at ISRO, the first ever recruit from Mumbai. He will be posted in Chandigarh. He is certainly an inspiration for hard work, determination and uncompromised efforts towards your goals.

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