Source: Amar Ujala (19-Sept-2017)

How a school drop out Bhimrao Patil battled poverty with his passion for machines

Bhimrao Patil was 15 when he discovered his passion for engineering. Born into a poverty stricken family, fate continued to be cruel when he lost his father and then had to take on many responsibilities. Poverty closed all doors, but Bhimrao did not let that stop him from becoming an engineer. He decided to learn on the job by choosing a path less travelled – one of tremendous struggle.

Bhimrao had no money to continue his education. After passing grade VII, he started to cut sugarcane for Sugar Mill Bawada, 25 km away from his home at Sajani village in Kolhapur district in Maharashtra. He then worked as a labourer in the fields of others for a year. Eventually, he got a job in the Maharashtra State Electricity Board (MSEB) where he fixed electricity lines. However, the inability to move to Pune changed Bhimrao’s life, bringing him closer to his destiny. He started working as a helper in a local lathe machine factory in Ichalkaranji town. Bhimrao walked 22 km to and fro every day to learn the basics of machines.  He moved to a different company where he was paid Rs 30 every month for 16 hours of work. Later he worked at the Panchganga Sugar Factory, where he was given the role of fitting boilers and maintaining machines.

Today, Bhimrao works at a factory in Mangaon, has more than a quarter of a million hours of technical experience and has visited more than 20 cities to assemble and design machines at several international mechanical expos. He attributes all his success to his 68-year-old wife, Mrs Shalan Patil. He proudly addresses her as the agriculture minister of the house, since she was the one who managed the family’s land over all of these years.

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