Inspiring Stories of Deloitte’s “Be the One” Challenge winners from IIM Ranchi
“Let me not pray to be sheltered from dangers,
but to be fearless in facing them.
Let me not beg for the stilling of my pain, but
for the heart to conquer it.”
– Rabindranath Tagore
We share two stories, stories that move you, stories that give you hope,stories of courage, honor, perseverance and faith. We share the stories that not only won the hearts of many but also awards for being the most inspiring ones – of Dillaswar Gedala and Ronak Rawat.
Dillaswar Rao Gedala – Winner Deloitte Maverick “Be the One” – 2013
As I walk alone towards my dreams, my passion and my destiny, a million thoughts cross my mind. Whenever I walk to meet my opponent, I think, will I only defeat a person? Or will I defeat all the disappointments and trials I have ever faced in my life?
I come from a place in Andaman where there is not much awareness about international tournaments in sports. When I picked up a badminton racquet at the age of 14 and started playing, I did not know that the racquet will change my destiny. I have had no formal coaching and the place where I used to practice was ravaged by tsunami in 2009. I used to play on the streets all night long, not to go to any tournament, but because I had passion, because that racquet made me happy, it was my best friend. I was kicked out of school because I could not think of anything else other than badminton.
I kept on winning tournaments but there were no facilities in Andaman to continue. I could not go a day without playing. But I took a vow and stopped playing. Why? To study and get into a college where I would have the facilities to practice and move forward.
I was not allowed to play for the nationals, despite defeating all the other opponents who were selected along with me. I was not allowed because I am a differently abled person who has difficulty in walking. I was told I had to play in the tournaments conducted separately. That broke my heart but that could not break my spirit. No, I am not a quitter. I believe that true ability lies in the mind, not in the body. I am Dillaswar Rao , a student of IIM Ranchi and this is my story. I have represented India and won a Bronze medal in Badminton World championship. The highest world ranking that I have achieved in para- Badminton is #4. I am a state level Table tennis and chess player. I pick up a paint brush whenever I want to express my emotions. I have awards like ‘Best Student Achiever’ under my belt .I am the sole representative from Andaman to represent India in championships like Asian Para Games and Israel Open.
The path has been very difficult; there were moments when I wanted to give up. There was no support system. Sometimes, I just saw no future, I have been angry and dejected but I never gave up. I want to keep playing. I want to be unmatched.I want to open the best Academy in India. Yes, that’s my dream. I believe that I’ll do it. I believe in myself. Jai Hind.
Ronak Rawat – Winner Deloitte Maverick “Be the One” – 2014
If God created Man in his own image why am I different? What do you do when you realize you are different? What do you do when you are mocked, when you are not accepted and when your childhood is lost? What do you do when you feel helpless, lost and scared? Do you quit? Do you cry? Do you find answers if you quit or you cry? No you don’t. You find them when you conquer your fears about the absurdity of your existence and instead of looking for explanations; you pave your own way.
I was born with albinism that tempered the atmosphere of joy in my family with the anxiety about my future. Initially my condition filled me with rage as I struggled through my childhood trying to fit in. I stayed indoors as I could not play as a normal kid. I could not follow what was being taught as a student because of my weak vision. I sat on the first bench and walked to and fro between there and the board to comprehend what was going on. It raised objections from students and some teachers but I didn’t relent. I had to learn. Eventually, I took the help of technology to overcome some of my limitations. I also trained myself to focus on learning via listening rather than seeing/reading. As I grew up, I was not able to understand what career path to take. I tried helping in my family business but I was limited by my condition there as well.
I sought refuge in spirituality and it gave me the strength to go on. The legacy of my family business had to continue. I did not want my family to believe that it is going to die. As I decided to pursue MBA, odds were heavily stacked against me. Nobody believed in me and my family even refused to pay for my coaching as they thought I would be heartbroken if I did not get through. I was dejected, yet I pressed on. I never gave up and left no stone unturned in achieving my goals. During the IIM interviews, I was appreciated for my courage and efforts by eminent academicians. I succeeded in getting admission into one of the premier institutes of India, IIM Ranchi.
When I joined IIM Ranchi; I thought my ordeal was over. But I battle everyday as it is difficult for me to cope up with studies because of my weakening eyesight. I fear turning blind but that doesn’t stop me from dreaming.
What is my dream? I want to be recognized as an entrepreneur of one of the finest food chains in the world. I have a vision of taking my family business to an international level. I believe in my ambitions. I believe I can achieve them. Despite the fact that I cannot see the world clearly; I can see my future and I can see my dream coming true!