The Power of a Pencil – Ramesh J. Patel

This is Ramesh J Patel.  He was raised in a poor area of Mumbai. His mother died when he was 2 years old. Screen Shot 2016-03-30 at 9.17.00 AM   His father remarried and they had 3 more children.  Ramesh’s family of 6 shared one tiny room.  Ramesh enjoyed school and wanted to continue on to college but his parents wanted him to work so that he could help support the family.  Against the wishes of his parents Ramesh attended college but also worked to help support his family.  There were times when Ramesh would study into the night with only a lantern light and one pencil.  He couldn’t afford to break that pencil.  At the end of his college education, in 1961 Ramesh was distinguished for “being the only candidate to pass the Bachelor of Science examination with First Class Honors”. Ramesh went on to be a mathematician and college professor at Mithi Bai College Vile Parle, Mumbai. After he married and had his first daughter, Ramesh emigrated to the United States in 1972, because of chronic health issues.  When he arrived in the United States, he worked his way up over the years and became Senior Director, Product Development and Chief Technical Architect at Trizetto. Because of the education he fought for, he was able to give his family a better life.

Ramesh had two daughters.  He encouraged his daughters to focus on their education and expected them to excel.  He was able to support their education and allowed them to follow their own paths.  Ramesh continued to give back and has supported educational efforts in India with monetary donations.  He made sure his children knew the importance of giving back to those who are under served.

His younger dIMG_5320aughter, Hema, went into finance and business and eventually climbed the ladder to Chief Financial Officer of the company she works for.  She volunteered in Jaipur, India and Costa Rica to help educate impoverished children in basic math and english.  She shared her experiences with her nephew who was inspired to do more to help children around the world get the benefit of quality education.

His oldest daughter, Alpa, had her heart set on becoming a doctor.  She volunteered at the local hospital in her teens and even became a home health aide during the summers of her college years.  She went on to medical school and became a pediatrician and has been involved in the lives of children for many years.  She married a fellow student of medicine, Alkesh, and together they built a medical practice.  Alkesh received a degree in Engineering before he went to medical school and now he is working to attain his MBA. Education is an  integral part of his life. Together they have helped many families lead a healthier life.  With every blessing, they gave back by donating to worthy causes around the world.  It was their way of showing their gratitude.  They have two children, a 13 year old son and an 8 year old daughter.  Both children have been raised to understand the importance of education and of giving back to the world.

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