Visually impaired Mumbai student debates his way to world tourney win

Updated: Aug 13, 2019, 07:52 IST | Pallavi Smart

Team India, comprising Bhavya Shah from Mumbai Central and three from Chennai and one from Jaipur, defeated Team Canada in the final round of World School Debating Championship on July 31

Visually impaired Mumbai student debates his way to world tourney win
Representational picture

A team of five high school students from across the country has emerged champion at a world debating tournament, with a city boy bagging the best speaker award at the sixth position, making the state proud.

Team India, comprising Bhavya Shah from Mumbai Central and three from Chennai and one from Jaipur, defeated Team Canada in the final round of World School Debating Championship on July 31. As many as 64 countries participated in the tournament held in Hong Kong.

Bhavya, a visually impaired Std XII student of Rao Junior College, never let his condition come in the way of his achievements, said his father Ashish Shah.

"I use talking software to prepare for my debate. I type my pointers and then listen to them. A regular practice in debates is carrying notes to the podium but I couldn't have plugged in my earphones and listened to the notes. So, I made a list of one-word pointers and memorised them which helped me cover all the aspects of my topic," said Bhavya, who entered the championship following a zonal selection in July 2018.

"Bhavya had made the headlines when he cleared the Std X examination with 96 per cent in 2018. He has confidently dealt with his physical condition, especially consideringthat he was not born with it," said Ashish.

The Indian School Debating Society declared, "After winning all 8 preliminary rounds, progressing through octofinals, quarters and semis in unanimous decisions, Team India won the 2019 championship on a unanimous 9-0 decision. Each participant of the team got Best Speakers award, at different positions."

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