Twenty-six- year old Siddu S Lohte is blind by birth, and nurses a vendetta of sorts. He wants to pass IAS and serve as Deputy Commissioner in Belgaum to prove a point to his family that virtually banished him.
Lohte of Kakamani in Athani taluk of Belgaum is preparing for IAS prelims. Gifted with an extraordinary memory, Lohte is phenomenal in number crunching. Maths tables or dates in calendar, he comes out with the accurate answer in a split second.
Thanks to his talent, Siddu, a final year LLB student in MS Ramaiah College, has carved a niche for himself in numerology, and to an extent astrology which finances his education. His clientele includes film actor Jaggesh.
“I was ill-treated by my family from the beginning. I was forced to leave home and join a blind school run by a mutt in Hubli,” recalls Lohte. He did not receive any sympathy at the mutt either.
“I wanted to prove that I’m also good but never got an opportunity. One of my classmates, who was good in Maths tables was the darling of the school. So, I decided to memorise tables and take up the challenge. While I was in class 7, I gathered courage and told my teacher that I have memorised tables till 66 lakh. The teacher tested me and for the first time, I received applause. That boosted my morale,” says Lohte.
After completing class 10 at Mahesh High School, Hubli, Lohte landed in Bangalore completely broke. He slept on the footpath in the Majestic area, wrapping himself in old newspapers to keep warm. Swallowing his pride, he begged for food. He completed PUC and joined a computer centre in JB Nagar.
“Here, too it was a nightmarish experience. Since, I was not good in English, I was the butt of everyone’s jibes. With, sheer grit and determination, I learnt the language, and today I teach and write books in English.” Siddu also had a stint with the sliver screen. He acted in a Kannada movie ‘Yeddelu Manjunatha’ and anchors a live TV show.
“Wellwishers have bought me a computer and with the help of Jaws software, I’m preparing for IAS and If someone helps me with a Braille printer, I’m sure to make it,” says Lohte.
“In three years from now, you will see Siddhu, a small town boy from Belgaum, as an IAS officer. I will visit my house and see my parents and family only after being posted as Belgaum DC,” says a supremely confident Siddu.