From sleeping in a bus stand unable to pay hostel fees to an award-winning Drone scientist
Pratap, all of 22, has achieved what many only dream of. Pratap won the 1st prize at a Drone competition in Japan, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi has honoured him with an award and has asked DRDO to absorb him for his inventions in Drone technology.
Pratap's accomplishments have been talk of the town and have inspired many youngsters to persevere and achieve their dreams. However, Pratap's path to present success has not been easy and was full of thorns.
Pratap is a native of Netkal village in Malavalli Taluk of Mandya district in Karnataka. He comes from a family of farmers. His father Marimaddaiah was a farmer too and mother Savita, a housewife. Earning a few thousand rupees a month was just enough to feed the family. However, Pratap was enamoured by eagles, helicopters, and other flying objects since his childhood.
His inquisitiveness in flying objects created interest in science and electronics. He started to develop small robots and working models from waste materials while at school itself. He won several prizes in school with his science projects.
While studying in Pre-university, he acquainted himself with various websites such as Aviation, Space, Rolls Royce cars, Boeing 777, etc. by browsing from a cyber cafe near his house. Though he wished to pursue engineering, his family could not afford the fees, and hence he opted to study BSc in Physics at JSS College, Mysore.
Unable to pay hostel fees at the college, he was thrown out of the hostel. For a few days, he was forced to sleep at the Mysore Bus stand and had to wash his clothes in a public toilet. Such experiences did not deter Pratap, and he continued to learn computer languages such as C++, Java and Python on his own. He also learnt about creating Drones through eWaste, and this opened his path to success.