Boulders, beer & boxing

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Santosh Nachu is the vice president of the local chapter of Engineers Without Borders, a national service organization that seeks to improve the lives of impoverished communities abroad. He also makes beer cans and practices martial arts.

Name: Santosh Nachu

Age: 24

Day job: Plant supervisor, Metal Container Corporation

Neighborhood: Grandview

Alma mater: Missouri University of Science and Technology

Hometown: Hyderabad, India

My family moved to the United States from India when I was 14. My mom's side of the family all lives here. More than anything else, you have an opportunity for better education, especially if you want to go more specialized in any field.

One thing people don't realize about India is that you can go from one state to another and be completely lost, because the language they speak might be completely different. A lot of the prime ministers, they can speak like 15 or 16 languages.

I grew up through high school in St. Louis, which is very similar to Columbus. Downtown is kind of similar - you just don't have the college feel that you have with Columbus. If you love baseball, it's the greatest baseball town in the country.

Engineers Without Borders is our way of giving back. You've had these opportunities to get a great education and live a comfortable life, so you're just trying to provide something very miniscule from our perspective. You're talking about getting people [things like] drinking water.

No matter what walk of life you come through, it's important that you bring a passion - that you want to help these people out.

Our chapter's primary project involves breaking up boulders in El Salvador. This community lives in a landfill. Basically it's a ravine with massive boulders. In El Salvador, it rains for like six to eight months continuously. These boulders stagnate the water. You have flooding. It's hard to traverse the area to go to school, go to their place of work.

The company I work for is a subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch. We make aluminum cans. The beer you drink at tailgate parties? That's what I make.

People think it's the most glamorous job ever, like, "You must be swimming in a vat of beer everyday!" I get two cases of free beer a month, which I usually give away. I made friends the very first day I was in Columbus.

One thing I love about Columbus is how diverse people are in their art forms and different ways to get involved and stay active.

Last year, I started playing Aussie rules football with the Columbus Jackaroos. With the group of guys that have assembled, I think it's the camaraderie more than anything else. Everybody is there to have fun. You play your heart out on the field, then you go drink beer.

I also practice muay thai. It's basically like kickboxing, but knees and elbows are legal. You use knees very brutally: I grab you and then knee you in the head. I started doing it when I was in St. Louis about three years ago. I hope to fight at the end of the year.

The best advice I've ever received is to compromise with life, not ambition. I want to have no regrets whatsoever.