This 19-year-old is proof that you don’t need a college diploma to become a real engineer.
It has long been an argument whether those who have not taken formal engineering education and do not have licenses to practice deserve to be called engineers. They say that labeling someone an engineer should not be done loosely because the title is earned.
While that is the case for some, Ayush Semele from India surely belongs to those who have earned it. At only 19 years old, he is an engineer in his own right – with a heart dedicated in helping the poor. He gives the products he develops to the needy for free.
Ayush had a passion towards making electronic gadgets as a kid, but this was challenged because he had poor grades in school. Consequently, he was discouraged by his parents.
And in 2013, when he was fifteen and battling expectations around him, he escaped home for a week.
That was when he met poverty-ridden people with no access to the most basic electronic devices. Worse, there were kids he encountered who haven’t seen a toy.
“I always wanted to become a scientist, but our education system only teaches us theoretical subjects,” said Ayush. “Whenever I sought practical lessons, I was thrown out of my class. I was criticized for asking questions. No one even tried to understand me.”
After that experience on the streets, Ayush was inspired to venture on developing small toys and electronic items with discarded items. He worked on durable and cheap items that he could find for a start.
He said in an interview with Hindustan Times that ever since he read the biography of Thomas Edison, he was drawn to be like him.
While pursuing this dream with his small steps, his parents still wanted him to get the formal education. They let Ayush be coached at a reputed institute in Bhopal, but this later failed. He dropped out. Ayush wants to make things instead of learning theory.
Upon learning that this is what Ayush wants to do, his older brother, who is an engineering student in Bhopal, intervened and helped him come up with innovative electrical and electronic products. He also suggested that Ayush upload his ideas on YouTube so many could discover how the self-taught engineer makes the products.
“Ayush is a truly talented boy, and has always amazed me with his knowledge of electronics. His ‘career’ really took off once he launched Sdik Rof – his YouTube channel for kids – in September 2015,” Ayush’s brother said.
It was not surprising that Ayush got the attention that he deserved for indigenously developing different products like steam power generator, refrigerators, bladeless fans, toasters, and water heaters.
Videos via Sdik Rof
The number of his YouTube subscribers grew, and so is the number in Ayush’s paycheck from YouTube since it started paying him for his videos.
Ayush received his first check in April 2016, getting Rs 9,000 or about US$ 140. It may be a small amount for some, but this was enough to boost Ayush’s confidence in making more videos and products.
His hard work bore fruit in such a short while. Ayush got his fattest check to date amounting to Rs 72,000 which is a little more than US$ 1,118.
The YouTube channel, Sdik Rof, has more than 120 uploads so far with about 70 different electrical products in all. It boasts 140,000+ subscribers, which Ayush got in only a span of 2 years.
“I use commonplace items to make things. As all my products run on solar light, poor people aren’t burdened by soaring electricity costs,” said Ayush.
With all things considered, how can anyone not consider Ayush as a real engineer?
Top photo and information by Hindustan Times