As a young boy, Viswanath would travel 50 kilometres a day to go to school. When he reached Class 10, most of his studying happened in local trains, buses, and at the back of his uncle’s scooter. He scored excellently in school, but his final grades fell short of the medical entrance cut-off. Not disheartened, he applied to SSN for a biology-related engineering degree.
Life had bigger plans for this determined boy. In his second year, he heard from his teacher, Prof. Dhanalakshmi, about the Internal Funding for Students scheme in SSN, where selected students can be sponsored for a project. Viswanath submitted a proposal for product design, something he had become interested in. Despite his fear of speaking in public, Viswanath and his partner Praveen got the grant and developed “Chin Up”, external aid for people affected by Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. Monitored and nurtured by SSN and its excellent and motivational faculty, Viswanath went forth and designed several other award-winning products in the same space of rehabilitative and assistive devices. By the time he finished college, Viswanath was the only B.E student to take part in four internally-funded projects in the history of SSN. Then, through a faculty and student funding initiative, Prof. Dhanalakshmi helped him and his team fund a substantially larger project as well. This boosted their confidence immeasurably, because of the trust she placed in them and their work.
Later, the faculty also helped him patent four of these designs through the student and cohesive faculty patent filing system SSN has, making the process easy for even for first-timers. In March 2019, one of Viswanath’s research papers was published in the National Journal of Laboratory Medicine with the help of another faculty member.
Besides aiding with projects and research, SSN has helped Viswanath in many other ways. He learned to be organized and maintain proper records. He assumed responsibility and leadership and learned the importance of strategic planning and decision making. Time management and keeping the balance between academics and research were other skills he acquired along the way. He even got over his speech anxiety to a large extent. For him, SSN has been there all the way: funding, training, mentoring, helping in patenting and even marketing of the product.
The way learning is imparted at SSN made a big impression on Viswanath. How teachers employ real-life and practical problems for teaching in class, the seminars and guest lectures, the flexible education which covers sport, culture, social service and more, and of course the wonderfully helpful faculty have all been components in his journey of achievement.
Viswanath now has a job with HCL Healthcare through college placement. However, he will still associate with SSN in different ways. He says, ‘SSN has become my workplace and intellectual and knowledge sharing centre. Apart from this, its scenic beauty soothes me and brings me peace. It’s hard to leave such an amazing college.’
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