Cancer-affected students brave disease to appear for SSC exams

Like every year, this time too stories of students fighting against all odds are appearing as the board exams are underway. Vidhi Shah’s is one such tale. She was detected with cancer last year.

Vidhi is appearing for her SSC exams as a private candidate because chemotherapy treatment wouldn’t allow her any time to attend regular school. Vidhi (15), student of ASP Convent School, Ghansoli displayed her courage when she decided not to take a break from academics. “A tumour was detected in her chest last year, which is cancerous. It is the first stage of cancer as it has been detected at an early stage.”

So she is going to be cured with treatment. But she insisted that, instead of taking a break for treatment, she would continue her studies. “This is when the school showed us a way of appearing for SSC as private candidate,” informed Mukesh Shah, Vidhi’s father. While he is proud of his daughter, Mukesh is currently worried about completing her treatment.

The treatment is costly, which Mukesh cannot afford with his income from a small job at a Vashi wholesale market. “With help from well-wishers we have managed to complete 70% of Vidhi’s treatment. But we are yet managing funds for remaining treatment.”

On a much confident tone, Vidhi told mid-day that she is not worried about clearing board exams successfully. “It was little weird as till class IX, I was regular student but after the tumour was detected, the treatment took so long that I hardly had time to attend school. Thankfully, my school and friends helped me and I could prepare for SSC examination at home. My best friend who lives in the same society was my connect with school who, with other classmates, helped me a lot in collecting notes, understanding concepts etc.”

Vidhi wants to take admission in Commerce after SSC and wishes to become a chartered accountant, She is confident that she will be cured soon and will live a much happy life. Currently, she is going to appear for SSC examination at an examination centre where she is sitting with everybody else. “But people at the exam centre take much care of me. I am allowed to use the lift. Teachers take me to class and drop me back to the gate after examination. During exam, they keep check on me if I need something,” told Vidhi.

When contacted Surekha Pisal, principal of ASP Convent school, she said, “Vidhi is a bright students. It is because of her confidence and hard work that she is appearing for SSC examination. She started class X as a regular student but soon after that we realised that she is missing school a lot due to her therapy. It was only wise to then appear as private candidate as in that case she will not have minimum attendance condition. Soon her form was filled through our school. Teachers and students did help her in preparing for the examination.”

In another inspiring case, a girl student from a J B Khot high School, Borivali is appearing for SSC while suffering from brain-cancer. She is appearing for the examination from an air-conditioned room from her own school. Principal of the school, Krishnambal Sureshbabu, told mid-day, “She is allowed to appear from the school considering her condition. We are already aware of her condition so better care can be taken. She is also allowed a writer by board as her right hand is much weak and she cannot write appropriately. She is currently undergoing chemotherapy and so has to be kept in a germ-free environment. This is why she is sitting in an AC room where only one teacher allowed to go.” The student was given all help from school in terms of preparing for the examination while managing her treatment.

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