These youngsters won Microsoft's challenge

The real opportunity for success lies within the person and not the job. While it is rightly said that opportunity knocks the door only once, it largely depends on one’s individual personality and how appropriately one recognises, grabs and utilises the right opportunity to move forward.

In a developing country like ours, the youth face never-ending challenges that lie between them and their destination. From the prevalent social constraints to the overall structure of the society, many obstacles and struggles sprinkle a passionate aspirer’s path which makes the journey and the destination worth every effort.
Similar are stories of the two proud Indian winners, Roopam Sharma and Sonal Jain Padamchand, of the Microsoft YouthSpark Challenge (MYSC), who made the
country proud on the international front.

A company-wide, global initiative, the MSYC aspires to bridge the gap between those who have access to the skills and training they need to be successful, and those who do not. Young and ambitious youth, passionate about social causes submitted their ideas on how they can engineer social good in their communities, schools or throughout the world, using Microsoft technologies.

Amongst ten grand prize winners from Chile, Ecuador, Greece, Nepal, Nigeria, United States, and Uruguay, Sharma and Padamchand are the two proud Indian winners.
Hailing from Chennai, Padamchand who completed her Bachelor’s in Media and Communication, Symbiosis, Pune, says it wasn’t an easy task to convince her family about her career goals, her dreams and aspirations. “Convincing my parents and making them understand the wide scope of what I wanted to do, was challenging.

Even though they’ve always believed in me, I made sure that I stay on the right track so that they don’t feel they were wrong in trusting me,” she tells Metrolife.
A person who feels strongly that ‘education’ is the only factor that helps one to get out of the vicious circle of poverty, Padamchand designed an educational program called ‘World in a box!’ to bring ‘video classrooms’ for
children in remote and impoverished places.

On her journey with MYSC, she says, “It was definitely a roller coaster ride for me.
People from different countries and different nationalities were brought together and the same problem was tackled with their respective approaches.”

“Making me acquaint with people globally,” she continues, “I think it was brilliant
the way MYSC attempts to fill the opportunity divide amongst youth.”

Sharma, on the other hand, is a walking-talking encyclopaedia, who with his brilliant knowledge and know-how has created fascinating devices and portals that
offer a helping hand to people in need.

Currently pursuing his graduation from Manav Rachna College of Engineering, Faridabad, Sharma created ‘Emancipator’ a real-time tracking system that helps people suffering from dementia and related disorders. With an indefatigable desire to bring a change in society and the world overall, Sharma devotes all his time to
create gadgets that can make life easier for people, esp-ecially the old, ailing and
physically challenged.

“Participating and winning the MYSC was a life-changing experience for me. Working together with the people who feel equally enthusiastic about contributing to society and its betterment, was simply phenomenal,” he tells Metrolife.

The young winner, humble in his achievements but exuding youthful energy, confidence and a will to make dreams a reality, wants to spread the word about his social cause and inspire as many people as possible.

“MYSC helped me in realising that the core aspect of earning money will never be a goal in my life. I feel motivated and deeply satisfied by contributing to the society and this is probably what I want to do for the rest of my life,” he says, eyes bright
with enthusiasm.

Well, it is stories like these that encourage one to never give up and to pursue one’s goals doggedly. One can never know when opportunity knocks but one has to be
alive to the moment. The motivation to be ‘aware and awaken’ is surely the need
of the hour.


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