Visually impaired 17-year-old S. Pradeep Kumar aspires to become a political science lecturer. He likes the way Parliament works, the way the President, the government and the Supreme Court function. “I keenly follow debates in Parliament. I also keep track of recent decisions of the Supreme Court,” he told The Hindu.

Mr. Kumar, a student from Roman Catherine Lobo School for the Blind in Kotekani, has secured 91 per cent marks in the SSLC examination. “I want to purse Arts in the Pre University and then take up political science,” he said.

Mr. Kumar, who hails from Perankila in Udupi district, is among the five visually impaired students of the school to have scored more than 80 per cent marks in the Class 10 examination. The others are Nithyananda (90 p.c.), Anvith (88 p.c.), Gururaj (88 p.c.) and Meghana (84 p.c.).

Mr. Kumar, who joined the school in class 7, said that he and four other classmates prepared together for the examination. “All our focus this year was on studies.” Instead of mathematics and science, they had to write political science and economics papers. “While some questions in political science were related to matters, namely mandal panchayat that is not in vogue, there were questions on current affairs that found easy to answer.”

Mr. Kumar said he and his classmates did initially have problems coordinating with scribes, who were class 9 students from Canara School. “We had difficulty in conveying our thoughts initially during preliminary tests. But we adjusted and developed a good understanding during the final examinations,” he said. There was good support from the school management and staff for our preparation, he added.

Mr. Kumar is the youngest among the three sons of Sundar Moolya, who runs a tea stall in Ramdurg in Belgaum district and Girija, who earn living by rolling beedis in Perankila. His elder brothers have studied well and are employed, Mr. Kumar said.


Principal Calistus D’Sa said the school management will provide necessary support for the five students to continue their education. “They want to pursue graduation. The management would support them in their endeavor,” he said.

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