From a rural community in Maharashtra, India where his father worked as a farmer and his mother is housewife, Pravin (’11) has experienced a life changing journey.
Having gained his BEng at University of Brighton, MSc in Engineering with Innovation and Entrepreneurship at UCL and research at the University of Manchester, he is now a doctoral researcher in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Bristol.
‘I believe that education is at the heart of achieving dreams. As a researcher and a passionate graduate student of engineering, the thought of developing cutting-edge technology often gives me thrills and an immense sense of satisfaction. If it wasn’t for the Pestalozzi International Foundation, trust me, this dream would never have been possible.’
Pravin’s impact has been immeasurable – not only in his current role, but also back in India and beyond. Perhaps even more impressively, in 2021 he founded an NGO, ‘Oneureka Foundation’, which aspires to build on Pestalozzi’s vision and aims to financially support underprivileged but talented students from India and help them access quality higher education. The vision and mission is to marry talent with opportunities. So far, Oneureka has mentored and supported a cohort of four students to pursue their tertiary education in various universities across Europe, UK, and Australia.
‘It gives me so much pleasure to say that this ‘giving back mindset’ is the proud result of what I have learned throughout my years at Pestalozzi. This living example from my own personal experience epitomises Pestalozzi’s true purpose: to impact positively those in need. One thing that I have learned from my Pestalozzi years that has stayed with me, and forever will, is the living mantra of ‘Head, Hand and Heart’. Imbibing these three words into my everyday life has transformed the old me to where I am now.’
Recognising how fortunate he had been, the desire to give back grew stronger. In 2019, during an extended stay at home devastating floods hit the western region of India, making thousands homeless and causing hardship.
‘It pained me having to see my family members and friends suffering. This time, I wanted to bring home change.
While in India, I had the chance to meet with the individuals in authority to discuss the possibility of working on a satellite with the local government. Seeing this as an opportunity not to be missed, I presented them my idea to collaborate building, and hopefully launching a small satellite, which will enable the local government to systematically monitor local weather and forecast any natural calamities in advance. Although this project is still in its infancy with much work to be done, plans are now in place, waiting to be implemented. Even though progress has been hampered due to the pandemic and global crisis, steering the conversation around the use of technology to benefit the masses was, to me, a significant achievement.’