Source: TOI Barnana Gunnaya couldn’t stop his eyes from welling up with tears as he saw his son Giri Barnana Yadagiri in an Army officer’s uniform at the Indian Military Academy’s passing out parade in Dehradun on Saturday.
Gunnaya, who till recently used to work as a daily wager earning Rs 100 per day in a cement factory in Hyderabad, didn’t even know till a day before the parade that his son was being commissioned as an officer.
“My father is a very simple man. He thought that I was getting into the Army as a soldier. In fact, he told me I was making a huge mistake by leaving a highly-paid software job to join the Army,” said Yadagiri, who overcame extreme financial difficulties to become a software engineer from the International Institute of Information Technology in Hyderabad. After refusing a job offer from Union Pacific Rail Road, a US-based company, and saying no to a call from IIM Indore — where he had secured admission after scoring 93.4 percent in the CAT exam — Yadagiri decided to “follow my heart and serve the country.”
On Saturday, with his proud parents watching with misty eyes, he received the IMA’s prestigious silver medal for standing first in the order of merit in the Technical Graduate Course, which paves the way for cadets with a technical background to join the Army’s engineering units. Recounting the struggles that he had to undergo before savouring this moment, the young officer who sustained his studies through government scholarships, told TOI, “I have seen days when my father earned only Rs 60 after a day’s hard work and my mother who is afflicted with polio clean office tables to make both ends meet.”
Despite having seen such financial hardships, he says he was never tempted by money. “I had the option of sticking to the corporate world and making a lot of money but that was not where my heart lay. The kind of mental satisfaction one gets by working for the motherland cannot be replaced by any amount of money.”