Swapnil Sanjay Bangare saw a computer for the first time when he was in Class 4 and instantly got fascinated with them. Unfortunately, he did not have the luxury to operate it. The reason is he spent the early years of his life in Gadchiroli, the Naxalite prone district in Maharashtra. “We used to get electricity for just about 3-4 hours in a day and resources available for education were negligible,” says the 27-year-old.
When he asked his teachers how can he access it, he was told that he has to become an engineer for that. It is from here that his love for computers and web development started. Although he first learned to type on a typewriter that was available at his uncle’s shop, the conditions of the district were poor and he needed some external help to give wings to fulfil his dreams.
After completing his Class 10, Swapnil left his hometown and did a diploma from Govt Polytechnic in Bramhapuri and Engineering from the Govt college of engineering, Pune. He started reading more on web development courses and got enrolled for free Android basics course on Udacity. “During my college days, I realised how wide the web world is and accessing information is so easy. I got a mail that said Google is offering a scholarship and I applied for the Mobile Web Specialist course.”
Under the Google-Udacity scholarship programme for Android developers in India, Bangare got selected in the first phase and is working on AngularJS application. In 2017, Google India collaborated to train 30,000 developers in mobile and web development, and among them, 1000 developers were selected to receive full nanodegree scholarships.
Being an online course, Swapnil says this scholarship would not have been possible had he been staying in his hometown. “There was practically no internet connection in my town since Naxalites used to burn all the towers. It is a lot better now after the private players have come up,” he says.
The way technology is seeping in the small towns, students are aware of various scholarships and other facilities provided to them. “I was eager to change my life and improve the conditions I was living in. It was my driving force.” He is happy to see that so many of his friends have also managed to make a better life for themselves. “Everyone my age, including the girls, have gone to college and got good jobs. Some of them have their own local business, some have done MBBS and some, like me, have become engineers.”
Bangare is focussed on his career and he also encourages his siblings to study. “My brother is studying MBA and my sister is looking for a job after completing her course in engineering. I try to help them in whichever way I can.”
With the knowledge of web technology that he will gain with the scholarship, Swapnil dreams to develop a web portal to give tutorials and upload articles on technology. “I want to make education accessible and want to ensure that all the people who are unable to go to schools can also educate themselves through my website.” Swapnil also wishes to have his own company in the future but says that he has to learn a lot for that.