Maharashtra’s IIT-JEE toppers Priyank Pareikh (17) and Pararth Shah (17) soared higher than their own expectations when they made a trip to Shirdi by a helicopter as a reward by their coaching class, IITians Pace, on Saturday. Shah secured the fourth rank on the list of All India toppers while Pareikh came sixth.
Earlier, the coaching class had promised to gift them Nanos but they refused, as they didn’t know how to drive.
Pararth Shah, Priyank Pareikh with Pravin Tyagi pic/Nimesh Dave
IITians Pace spent Rs 2 lakh for the trip. This SUNDAY MiD DAY reporter accompanied the students on the trip. Shah and Pareikh arrived at 7 am at Pawan Hans at Vile Parle with their parents. “This is the first time that we are flying in a helicopter. I couldn’t sleep last night thinking how it would be. This is also my first visit to Shirdi,” said Pariekh.
Throughout the 50-minute journey, the boys were busy with their cell phone cameras.
We landed at a hotel near Shirdi at 8.50 am. After completing darshan through the VIP line, we returned to the hotel to have breakfast and then flew back to Mumbai at 12.30 pm.
Pravin Tyagi, managing director, IITians Pace, said, “I wanted to thank Sai Baba and I wanted to give the toppers their first flying experience.”
The coaching class will be funding Shah and Pareikh’s four-year courses at IIT. “I want to encourage other students in a positive manner. We will continue to have such innovative rewards for children who score top ranks in IIT-JEE,” he added.
Both Pareikh and Shah will be pursuing computer engineering in IIT Bombay. Shah scored 88.7 per cent in SSC while Pareikh scored 96.3 (ICSE). Both are awaiting their HSC results.