Calm, composed and collected in the face of death. When AIM for Seva reached out to M. Srinivasan, a graduate of the Swami Dayananda College of Arts & Science, Manjakkudi, Tamil Nadu, he was helping out a family out with the final rites of a loved one. His voice did not betray the urgency of the task at hand. Rather, he calmly replied that he would get back at the earliest.
True to his word, Srinivasan got in touch with us later that evening. His life story is a fascinating one. Srinivasan, a BSc (Computer Science) graduate from the Swami Dayananda College of Arts & Science, Manjakkudi, Tamil Nadu, made ends meet during his college years by doubling up as a tourist cab driver in the evening.
Srinivasan’s father, a weaver mechanic died whenhe joined college. His grandmother, a weaver was supporting the family. When he joined college, Srinivasan was quick to develop contacts and also managed to bag a job as a driver with a travel company—SRT Travels in Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu.His monthly salary ranged from Rs. 6,000 to Rs. 8,000 during this period.
While he diligently attended classes in the mornings at college, during evenings (5 to 11 pm), Srinivasan would be on the highways in Tiruvarur district, Tamil Nadu, taking tourists on temple tours. During weekends, he would make long distance trips to Chennai as part of duties as a cab driver.
So in between attending college during the day and working in the evenings, how did Srinivasan manage to squeeze out time for assignments and preparing for exams? “I did a bit of planning and always made sure that I had the relevant study materials in a physical as well as digital format (on his phone). There are ample rest intervals during long distance driving and I managed to catch up on my studies during those breaks,” he says matter-of factly.
Srinivasan bagged a job with Sundaram Finance during the ongoing campus placement drive in the college. He scored an aggregate of 70% during the first five semesters in college.
Apart from being a skillful driver, Srinivasan is also a mridangam artist having performed in numerous college festivals.
Srinivasan would be joining the NBFC (non-banking finance company) as an assistant manager at an annual package of Rs. 4 lakh. “My immediate goal after getting a job is to settle the loans that we took for my father’s medical treatment. Also, my sister who is in Class 9 is keen to pursue higher studies. After that only can I think of a long term career for myself.”