A grin, a naughty smile and continued laughter. Gottapu Mouli has every reason to smile and be happy. An alumnus of the Swami Dayananda AIM for Seva Chatralayam for Boys, Bobbili, Andhra Pradesh, Gottapu has bagged a prestigious job offer with FactSet, an American financial information and software major, at an annual package of Rs. 3.4 lakhs. He is a B.Com graduate from Sri Sai Degree College, Hyderabad
But this wasn’t this case at the turn of the century when a young boy was born to a paddy farm labour couple in Jogumpeta village (Srikakulam district) in Andhra Pradesh. Home to 500 families, rice cultivation is mainstay in this region.
Gottapu spent the first seven years in this idyllic village and studied at the local government school. While the family finances weren’t strong, nevertheless Gottapu’s parents were extremely keen that their son should get a good education which would ultimately pave the way for a bright future. “My parents are illiterate. As a child, I still remember those poverty stricken days when my father used to do night shifts in a quarry to make ends meet,” recounts this first generation learner rather wistfully.
As luck would have it, a village neighbor informed Gottapu’s parents about the Chatralayam at Bobbili. In 2007, Gottapu joined the Bobbili Chatralayam when he entered Class 3. From Class 3 till he completed intermediate (Class12), the Bobbili Chatralayam became his second home.
The initial days were tough and Gottapu experienced frequent homesickness especially when he came to know that his father had got a temporary job, 10 kms way from the Chatralayam.
The academic turning point occurred in middle school when Gottapu bagged 3rd rank in Class 6. There was no looking back after that. He was in the top five ranks in school till Class 10.
The ensuing years ensured Gottapu experienced happiness, fun and laughter coupled with the regular routine and discipline, all at the Bobbili Chatralayam.
Recalling his childhood ambitions, Gottapu shares that he aspired to be a bank manager. “I used to accompany my mother to the neighbouring bank and loved the branch office, its interiors, cool air and all,” he shares jovially.
What he cherishes most of his Chatralayam years is the constant guidance and countless hours spent by his warden, Sri. Subbarao in shaping the personality that he is today. “I would like to thank my warden for constantly guiding, encouraging and motivating me. He has shaped me with the right values and ethics, behavioral and life skills,” acknowledges Gottappu warmly.
His brother G. Mohan too is an AIM alumnus. Currently employed with TCS, Mohan is a former student of the Tiruvikrama Bala AIM for Seva Chatralayam for Boys, Gudivada, Andhra Pradesh.
Gottapu is a shining example of how an enabling environment and access to schooling can bring about a lasting change in the beneficiary, his immediate family and the society at large.