She never applied for a medical certificate qualifying her for grace marks or extra time.
“I was told several times that I should do so since I am eligible. But I wanted the examination score to reflect only my work,” said Akhila B.S., a student who scored 1,191 marks, just nine short of the perfect 1,200 score for the higher secondary examinations.
The 18-year-old seemed mildly confused by all the attention she had been getting since Tuesday, when the results were announced.
Her score, 99.25 per cent, becomes a more admirable feat considering the fact that she is physically challenged.
A student of St. Mary’s Higher Secondary School, Pattom, Akhila lost her right arm when she was in kindergarten.
But that should have no bearing on the rest of my life, she says.
“I was very young when the accident happened, so it’s not like I had to relearn how to write with my left hand. It was a long time ago and I became self-sufficient in a while,” she says, almost dismissive of what she has managed to achieve.
There is a conviction that shines through her personality and is even reflected in the choices she has made about her higher studies.
She wants to become a civil servant and to get there, she felt that the five-year long humanities course offered by the Indian Institute of Technology Madras is ideal.
It was a deliberate choice to do science courses till the end of the school, she says.
“For one, I love Physics and I enjoy studying it. But more importantly, I felt it was important to have a base in science for it will help you think more logically,” she said.