Patna: He was a religious preacher at the age of seven, but now at the age of 14, Shivanand Tiwary of Dharampura village in Rohtas district is among the youngest students in the country to crack the prestigious IIT entrance examination.
So young he is that he had to take permission from the court to write the IIT entrance examination, as boys and girls below the age of 15 are not allowed to appear.
Talk to him, and he himself will say that till four years ago he had no inkling that he would be going to study at IIT. But his father Kamlakant Tiwary, a farmer by profession, as well as, people of his village and neighbouring areas had no doubts about his talent.
The boy had learnt by heart the Gita and other Hindu religious scriptures at the age of seven. He started travelling all around and preaching on religion and scriptures. The discourses were well attended.
"I have been a spiritual person since my childhood days and have always wanted to serve God. I started preaching from a stage at Buxar when I was seven year old. The people loved it and I was called to various places to give discourses. I also enjoyed it," said Shivanand.
Though his father Kamlakant also wanted Sivanand to lead a life of sainthood, but there was a change when director of a coaching institute based in Patna and New Delhi spotted him in 2011. He was so impressed that he convinced the boy`s father to allow him to take up studies.
"I was taken by Naraina IIT - PMT Academy director UP Singh to New Delhi. He and his academic director in Patna Deepak Singh devised a special curriculum for me and I completed my school studies successfully from Delhi and prepared simultaneously for IIT. They made me focus much on English also so that I could read and understand books in this language," said Shivanand.
The young boy, who has secured 2587th rank in the entrance examination, now hopes to pursue Physics at IIT and go on to advanced research in its various fields. But, what about spirituality?
"I will try to correlate spirituality and science later on. There is no question of giving up spirituality. I will take up research work in pure physics," added Shivanand with a smile.