At a time when board students would give an arm to join the 90-percent club, there are a few who, with far lesser scores, are much above their grade. These are the students with physical and learning disabilities who outdid themselves, and like every year, the board witnessed a swell in their numbers. While these youngsters get certain concessions from the board to level the field for them, in the last analysis it is their grit that makes them transcend their limitations. Here are a few of the inspiring champions:
Ammar Hussein Jawadwala (18)
In 2012, Ammar was diagnosed with lymphoblastic leukaemia, a cancer of the white blood cells. He had undergone a series of chemotherapy sessions to get rid of the cancerous corpuscles.
However, a day after he appeared for the first HSC paper, he contracted an infection and had to be admitted to the hospital again. This did not stop him from forging on and appearing for the rest of his papers.
“I had prepared for my exams very well in advance and I was not going to let my health hold me back. Since I had to sit for a chemotherapy session on the day I had my Physics paper, I sought help from my college, which helped me by arranging for a writer. So I could give the exam from the hospital bed,” said Ammar.
A student of Anjuman-I-Islam’s MH Saboo Siddik Tech High School and Junior College, Ammar expressed his gratitude to his family and college staff for being supportive.
“Even though I finished my junior college as a Science student, I would now like to pursue a Bachelor’s in Management Studies (BMS). And I hope to find a seat in a good college,” added Ammar.
Diana D’souza (18)
For a patient of osteogenesis imperfecta, travelling from Prabhadevi to Bandra can be as challenging as mountaineering.
The brittle bone disease can cause the sufferer to fracture their bones even with the mildest pressure or even a slight loss of balance. But despite her travails, Diana D’souza, a student from St Andrews College, managed to score 63% in the Arts stream.
“I have suffered seven fractures and had five surgeries so far. It was difficult to manage, since even if I lose my balance, there is a major risk of a fracture. But my mother has been my support system through all this. She’d come with me till Bandra each day in a taxi and wait till my lectures were over.” Diana plans to do a Bachelor’s in Arts.
Pooja Indese (18)
She is yet another example of people overcoming the odds and emerge with flying colours. A student of Joshi Bedekar College, Thane, she is completely blind, but had topped her class in the SSC exam.
In HSC, she scored 82.31 per cent in the Arts stream. But she is unhappy. “Though every body around me is in a joyous mood, I’m still not happy with my score.
I’m planning to give my English paper for review,” she said. “I followed a regular time table. My college really backed me through thick and thin.”
Nishant Rana (20)
There’s light at the end of the tunnel and for Nishant Rana of Thakur College of Science and Commerce in Kandivli, this proved true.
In spite of being fully blind, this Commerce student managed to score a staggering 78% in his HSC exam. Nishant wishes to take up management as a career. He said, “I was born prematurely and that is why the deformity.
The whole mechanism of studying lies behind understanding the core concepts really well.” Nishant had to search for a writer himself, and the boy who helped him was from his college.
Mahalaxmi Yadav (17)
Like many of her friends, Mahalaxmi Yadav was overjoyed with the 82 per cent she scored in HSC exams. What makes her achievement different from the others is that she has overcome muscular dystrophy to score well.
mid-day had reported how her father, a newspaper vendor, had to lift her and drop her to school and back every day, to ensure that her dreams live on. “My daughter has always been very positive in life. She was sure she could study and live a life like her friends.
The least I can do is help her get to school on time,” said Murugan Yadav. A student of St Mary’s High School and Junior College in Vashi, Mahalaxmi has always been one of the brightest students in her batch.
She now wants to study Commerce. “I haven’t yet decided exactly what I want to do, but I think I’ll apply for a seat in the Commerce stream and focus on my studies,” she said.