Men who matter
`Raghu sir is the best in physics'. That used to be common refrain of intermediate students in the district and its surroundings for years.
Kalidindi Raghu continues to be a teacher of repute even today, despite promoting and heading the Raghu Engineering College. All along his scholastic and teaching career, he had to work his way up to the top, all alone.
Born in a family of a high-profile Government official, Mr. Raghu had his education and grooming in almost all parts of the State. "My father K. Bangar Raju was the Joint Director of Industries and since he was transferred every two or three years my basic school education was spread across the State."
Always a topper
Mr. Raghu had always been a topper all through his student life. He not only topped the seventh and matriculation examinations at the district level but also completed his AMIE (mechanical) in the very first attempt with distinction. "I finished my matriculation at the age of 13 and after passing the Intermediate examination, I joined AMIE. I did it on my own without the help of a teacher. And that experience is today fetching me the rewards. I learnt to make mistakes and rectify all by myself, and today I am in a position to understand where my students commit mistakes or deviate. I understand the problem from their point of view and explain the concept in the language best understood by them," says he.
Foray into teaching
His ambition was to go abroad or settle down as a Group I officer. In fact, he came to Visakhapatnam to pursue his goals. But on the second day he approached a tutorial to take up a teaching job as a pastime. "Within 15 days of my joining that college I lost my father and had to leave for a few days for the rituals. When I returned I was told that the students had agitated demanding my return. This was the turning point in my life. It instantly struck an emotional chord with students and from that day I immersed myself in the teaching profession."
After spending some time with the tutorial, Mr. Raghu started a junior college with EAMCET coaching on his own by the name Raghu Tutorials in 1991. "The venture was a success from day one. By that time I had developed a brand loyalty for myself and I started the college with a strength of over 2,000 students. From 1991 to 1996 half of the freshers in the Andhra Medical College used to be from Raghu," he says with understandable pride.
"From 1996 I started losing interest in this set-up, with the mushrooming of fast-food-stall type of coaching institutions and the culture of buying ranks. It was then that I decided to set up a higher education institution. In 2001 Raghu Engineering College was incepted near Vizianagaram."
The college today has a strength of over 1,300 students in five streams: ECE, EEE, Mechanical, CSE and IT. "Apart from having experienced handpicked faculty, ours is one among the 25 colleges in AP that have been selected as 'centres of excellence' and the District Knowledge Centre by the AP State Council of Higher Education."
Apart from opening other streams of engineering, he plans to add a PG section shortly along with a consultancy and research and development wing. "I want to build a complete technical college with all facilities, including communication and soft skill development facilities," avers Mr. Raghu.
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