Their travails on the road to achievement were befittingly rewarded with accolades.

Fifty-eight visually-challenged toppers in Board examinations from across the State were felicitated by Nethrodaya, a city-based voluntary organisation for the visually challenged, on Saturday.

Appreciation and applause are not new to Chennaiite K. Vignesh, who, with 1,132 marks, topped among visually challenged students in the State in the class XII public examination. “I had earlier received an award from Nethrodaya for topping the tenth Board examination. Scribes are important as they write for us. The government must consider explanations for answers in geography instead of questions involving marking on maps,” said Vignesh.

After a degree in English literature, Vignesh wants to pursue his dream of becoming an IAS officer. Civil service seems to have similarly caught the fancy of many of the students, who were awarded for scoring more than 1,080 in the class XII exam and 450 in the class X Board exam.

Hailing from Madurai, B. Sivaprakasam said, “My teachers helped me to score 486 in the class X exam. I found it difficult to convey my answers to a scribe in the Tamil exam,” said Sivaprakasam, who also wants to prepare for civil service.

There were others like B. Ramya from Perambalur district and K. Usha from Oddnchatram who spoke of their interests in music and taking up teaching as a profession.

Felicitating the toppers, K. Manivasagam, State commissioner of the differently-abled, highlighted the government schemes and incentives available for differently-abled students.

Nethrodaya’s founder C. Govindakrishnan, said cash awards to the tune of Rs. 7.80 lakh were distributed to the students. Educational assistance was distributed to children of 50 visually-impaired couple.

M.V.M. Velmurugan, chief executive officer of Velammal Engineering College, and playback singer Unnikrishnan were among others who felicitated the students.

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