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Children with disabilities beat the odds

(From left) Unnat Dave, Nimilika Puppala and Ali Afroz  

Unnat Dave, 16, lives with spastic diplegia, a form of celebral palsy. He has had to have physiotherapy since he was three months old and started walking very late, at the age of three-and-a-half. When he was ready for school, no private school accepted him. But his family did not lose hope, and finally found Rajhans Vidyalaya, where he got the best of education and attention.

Unnat has no learning disability, and is mobile and goes to school unassisted, but he is unable to participate in sports or any strenuous physical activity. He is also unable to climb steps; the principal of his school, Deepshikha Srivastava, arranged for his class room to be on the ground floor. Unnat’s parents attribute his success to his will-power and intelligence, but also to the school staff and the counsellor who really helped and encouraged him, even giving him extra time to write his papers. He is very sharp in maths and science. He scored a 9.8 Cumulative Grade Points Average (CGPA).

Nimilika Puppala, 16, has a 8.8 CGPA. Nimilika has been diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome, an autism spectrum developmental disorder. Her IQ is high, but Asperger means that she has a very low social quotient; she was a loner and her peers had difficulty accepting her. Nimilika opted for Sanskrit, Hindi and English, and studied well. She loves to write short stories and is learning Hindustani classical singing vocals. She also has a keen interest in the etymology of Marathi words.

Ali Afroz, 15, looks like he has perfect eyes. But there is a problem in his retina which has no cure, something which affects one in a million people; it means that he has 90 per cent visual impairment. Despite this, Ali is a ferocious reader and a great student: the DAV Public School, Nerul, student scored a 10 CGPA.

How does he read? His mother Hena Kausar said, the family separates all his textbooks into their component pages, scans each page, edits them, and load them on his laptop, where a text-to-speech program ‘reads’ the pages to him. His choice of a break from studies is more reading through his laptop, preferably philosophy and history.

Chennai region scores high

Mumbai scored a 98.55 pass percentage in the differently-abled candidates students category in the 2016 Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) Class 10 exams.

Maharashatra falls under the Chennai region for the CBSE examination.

In the special students category, Chennai scored the second highest, after Thiruvanathapuram, out of the 10 regions. Dehradun had the highest number of autistic children, 39 students, and Chennai had the second-highest, 20. The Delhi region had the highest number of visually-impaired students, with 121, with Chennai again second, with 26. The Chennai region also had 46 students with a hearing impairment, 194 orthopaedically impaired students, 17 spastic and 316 dyslexic students.


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Printable version | Aug 3, 2021 2:53:18 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/news/children-with-disabilities-beat-the-odds/article8662498.ece

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