Patwa Toli, a village of ‘weavers’ or ‘IITians’?

Patwa Toli , a nursery for IIT, not just another coaching institute!

Among all the IIT entrance success stories from Bihar and elsewhere, perhaps the most impressive is that of Patwa Toli in Gaya. Patwatoli, a virtual slum on the northeastern skirts of the Gaya Municipal Corporation (GMC) area is now waiting to be renamed as Abhiyanta Vihar, even though the name does not carry much history like the earlier name. The very name of the locality indicated it was inhabited by the weavers’ community, withpatwa standing for jute.  The demand to rename Patwatoli as Abhiyanta [engineer] Vihar was first made by municipal corporator Lalji Prasad a few years back. Several hundred engineering graduates in a small and educationally backward community of job-starved weavers is a marvel of its own kind.

Patwa Toli, a village with as many as 109 IITians popularly known as the “Village of IITians” has brought laurels to Bihar. This year too, as many as 17 students from this impoverished village cracked the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology Joint Entrance Examination (IIT-JEE).

Situated in the southern Bihar town of Gaya, Patwa Toli or the “village of weavers” has kept up the magic spell of success for long. In the past two decades, this village has seen as many as 109 students clearing the IIT with self-study, grit and dedication.

The success is being attributed to the IITians who spend their vacations at their native village and guide the IIT aspirants, apart from lending monetary support. “In case of any problems, we also get in touch with our seniors on WhatsApp group or on Facebook and seek their helps,” said Sumit Kumar who topped in his locality this year.

The village also formed a study circle called “Nav Prayas” to help the aspirants with study materials, notes and money. “Once we have cleared the IIT test, we too have to follow the same routine and help the juniors,” added Kumar.


The youngsters whose families were in the traditional business of weaving developed a sudden passion for IIT after a local youth named Jitendra Kumar cracked the exam in 1992. He is currently an engineer in the US. The success inspired the young generation so much so that they turned to engineering jobs after saying goodbye to their traditional weaving job for which their village was once known as the “Manchester of Bihar”.

Since then, there has been a mad competition among the children of weavers to join IITs. Right now, at least 200 of the 1,000 households in the locality have at least one engineer — either from the IIT or the National Institute of Technology (NIT).

The declining power loom business too has forced the young generation to concentrate their energy on education and this is bearing fruits too. This can be gauged form the fact that the number of students clearing the IIT is increasing with each passing year.

This year, a total of 17 students cleared the IIT with self-help and community support, instead of depending on big coaching institutes. Last year, 16 students had cleared, followed by eight in 2014, five in 2013, seven in 2012 and six in 2011.