When he was born, neighbours in the village suggested that his parents should kill him.
Some said, it was better than the pain his family will suffer in future. They said he was usefull as he was born blind.
Irony! The blind has grown up now and is the CEO of Hyderabad-based Bollant Industries, an organisation that employs uneducated and disabled employees to manufacture eco-friendly, disposable consumer packaging solutions, which is worth Rs 50 crores.
He considers himself the luckiest man alive, not because he is now a millionaire, but because his uneducated parents, who earned Rs 20,000 a year, did not heed any of the ‘advice’ they received and raised him with love and affection. Srikanth says, they are the richest people he knows.
In school, he was pushed to the back bench and not allowed to play. After his class X when he wanted to take science he was denied the option because of his disability. All of 18, Srikanth not only fought the system but went on to become the first international blind student to be admitted to the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the US.
Today, Srikanth has four production plants, one each in Hubli (Karnataka) and Nizamabad (Telangana), and two in Hyderabad (Telangana). Another plant will be one hundred percent solar operated, is coming up in Sri City, in Andhra Pradesh, 55 kms from Chennai.
Srikanth said in his growing days his father, a farmer, would take him to the fields but he could be of no help. His father then decided that he might as well study. He said no one acknowledged his presence. He was put in the last bench neither he could not participate in the PT class.
That was the time when he thought he was the poorest child in the world. It was not because of lack of money but because of loneliness.”
When his father realised that the child was not learning anything, he admitted Srikanth to a special needs school in Hyderabad. There he not only learnt to play chess and cricket but excelled in them. He topped his class, even getting an opportunity to work with late President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam in the Lead India project.
rikanth was denied admission to the science stream in class XI. He cleared the Andhra Pradesh class X state board exams with over 90 percent marks, but the board said he could only take Arts subjects after that.
“Was it because he was born blind? No. He was made blind by the perceptions of the people.”