Uncertainty looms large over boy genius' future

Published: Oct 27, 2012, 17:57 IST | Sandip Kolhatkar |

Blessed with high IQ, Rizwan Shaikh may have to abandon his studies, as his education sponsor discontinues monetary aid citing unavoidable circumstances

The future of boy genius Rizwan Shaikh is in jeopardy after his education sponsor decided to pull the plug on his monetary aid. Blessed with an astounding intelligent quotient (IQ), 10-year-old Rizwan caught attention of top cops a few years ago by correctly answering questions that are generally asked during MPSC exam.

Citing unavoidable circumstances, German National Heinz Toelle who funded Rizwan’s education till Std V through his company Menshen Ropa Plastics decided to stop the aid. The company had initially said it would sponsor Rizwan’s education till Std XII.

Future uncertain: The RIMS International School and Junior College on NIBM Road; (right) Rizwan Shaikh, who at present studies in Std VI. Pics/Imzanglu Aier

Living in abject poverty, Rizwan’s parents are afraid that lack of money will force them to discontinue their son’s education and crush his dream of becoming a missile scientist.

Rizwan’s parents said everything was going smoothly until the firm failed to deposit fees for their son’s current academic year. They said the school management informed them that Toelle’s firm decided to discontinue the monetary aid.

Rizwan’s father Mohammed, who runs a vegetable stall in Kondhwa, said, “Untill 2007, I used to live in a small village with my wife and two children. But Rizwan would tell us about different states, science, mathematics, geography. I didin’t want to ruin his talent by staying in a small village, so we shifted to Pune.”

Mohammed said since the family never had enough money, he started looking out for a better paying job. “We took up residence in a slum area,” said Mohammed.

Mohammed said through a common acquaintance in the police department, he met former Superintendent of Police (Rural) Vishwas Nangre Patil and the then Commissioner of Police of (City) Dhananjay Jadhav in 2007. During the meeting, the officials asked Rizwan some questions related to the MPSC exam and to their astonishment the six-year-old answered them correctly.

“They started searching for sponsors who could fund his education. They found Heinz Toelle, the co-owner of Sanaswadi-based Menshen Ropa Plastics. He offered to sponsor Rizwan’s education following which he was enrolled in RIMS International School,” said Mohammed.

Ruksar, Rizwan’s mother, said they received the biggest shock of their lives when the family was informed that the company had decide to pull the plug on sponsorship and that fees Rs 1.18 lakh — was yet to be paid. “They might cancel his admission, and his dream of becoming a missile scientist may never materialise,” said Ruksar.

“After being teased for living in slums, we relocated to a two-room house which the school authorities pay the rent for,” said Mohammed.

School administrator Asif Patel said, “Yes, we have received a notice from the company that they would not be able to continue with Rizwan’s sponsorship. We are not going to take immediate action against Rizwan as he possesses extraordinary IQ.”

Patel said the management is looking for a sponsor, but is yet to find one. Vishwas Nangre Patil, who is now the Additional Commissioner of Police (West Region) in Mumbai, said the school should bear all the expenses. “I have started searching for a sponsor who can help the boy,” said Patil. 

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