Friday dawned on a happy note for students and teachers of Kulapati Dr. S. Balakrishna Joshi Gurukulam Higher Secondary School, Kolathur. One of their own, R. Rajaraman, who suffers from a rare congenital bone disease, scored 486/500 in the class X SSLC examination.

Rajaraman has Osteoge nesis imperfecta, also known as brittle-bone disease, a disorder in which bones break easily, without any specific cause. When the 17-year-old arrived at his school to check his score, he received a rousing welcome. But Rajaraman, whose perseverance and hard work has paid off, said he was a little disappointed. “I expected to score over 490. My favourite subject is science. But I got a centum in social science,” he said.

Even a slightly awkward movement of his limbs could cause a problem, said Rajaraman, who has suffered nearly 100 fractures since his birth. But that did not deter him — he chose to write his exams instead of using scribes. He was given an additional hour to complete all his papers. .

“Since I don’t know what can or will happen with my health, I studied whenever I got time and set goals to finish the portions,” said Rajaraman, who is also a good chess player.

R. Rajeswari, a proud mother, said that he even took handwriting classes for three months. “I have to be very careful while taking him from one place to another. I wrap him up heavily and have the vehicle drive slowly to protect his fragile bones,” she said.

Rajeswari sat with her son for long hours to help him with his studies. “Even if he sneezes or slips, the effect on him is the same as falling from a height,” she said.

The school’s principal, A.V. Meenakumari, said: “He could not attend classes for several days. But he made up for the loss by coming in for special coaching classes held exclusively for him. It was sheer joy to teach him as he was a very attentive student.”

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