BIS #5859 FROM NIGHT STUDY TO PHD
by Father Gregory D'Almeida for BISMumbai
Name: Thomson Anthony Jayabali Fernandes
Stays at: Mumbai Central, Mumbai
Passed SSC in: March 2004
Thomson is currently teaching in the Department of Chemistry at Wilson College, Mumbai. His teaching however does not prevent him from learning further. He is working on his PH.D (in Chemistry) from the Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai (UDCT) and is expected to get his doctorate degree soon.
In a lifetime, very few people manage to take giant strides from poverty and illiteracy to scholarship and financial security. The journey is tough and few find within them the courage and determination to work through adversities. For those who manage the giant strides, the sweet taste of success is tempered with the knowledge that hard work is the key to everything.
Thomson's story is such. His parents worked to provide for a family made up of Thomson, his elder brother and a younger sister. While his mother worked as a domestic help in people's houses, his father was a helper at construction and demolition sites until last year. The household ran on a shoestring budget but the parents ensured that the children went to school. All three were enrolled in the City of Los Angeles Municipal School, Mahim, and they went on to graduate in disciplines of their own choosing.
Thomson chose Chemistry and completed his post-graduation in the subject. Currently, he is pursuing a doctorate at the Institute of Chemical Technology!
Thomson got to know about Don Bosco Night Study Class (DBNSC) from his brother in 1998. Thomson was a Class VI student then. It is a relationship that has lasted till now. When Thomson first came to DBNSC, he was happy to see that sports was given as much importance as academics. The DBNSC schedule had thought of everything: the evening meal, study time, play time, and extracurricular and co-curricular activities such as cultural programmes, sports day and annual day-just like in any other regular school. The boys received ample support from the teaching staff too. Apart from excelling in academics, Thomson picked up football and basketball.
STEPPING STONES TO SUCCESS
His excellence in academics was recognized and rewarded in the form of the Cardinal Simon Pimenta Episcopal Silver Jubilee scholarship in 2005, for his percentage in Std X. This encouraged him to do well in Std XII and enroll for the B.Sc. program in Chemistry at the D.G. Ruparel College. This was followed by M.Sc. in Physical Chemistry from the Hazarimal Somani College.
Simultaneously, he went on to clear national competitive examinations like GATE and UGC-CSIR- NET. This helped him get a teaching job in the Department of Chemistry at Wilson College, Mumbai. In his role as an Assistant Professor, Thomson is currently enjoying opening young minds to the joy of chemistry as a subject. His teaching, however, does not prevent him from learning further. He is working on his Ph. D (in Chemistry) from the Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai (UDCT) and is expected to get his doctorate degree soon.
For all that he has achieved, Thomson wants to thank the entire teaching and non-teaching staff of DBNSC. He was associated with them between 2004 and 2011 when he took charge of some classes. He looks forward to associating with them in the same manner again. That's what people who take giant strides do; they don't disconnect from their past.
A success story like this is an example and an inspiration in itself. Thomson does not have advice to give as such. He only says, "Work hard. Set a goal for yourself. Believe in yourself and never give up.