Special kids beat exam challenge



Siliguri, May 28: At the age of three, Sanjay Sharma lost his vision completely following a bout of illness. Today, the 16-year-old boy passed the Madhyamik examination with first division marks.

Sanjay did not forget to thank Mary Scott Home and School for the Blind in Kalimpong, where he studied up to Class VIII and still stays, and the Scottish University Mission Institution (SUMI), from where he appeared for the exams.

“My teachers, friends and the superintendent of the home helped me a lot,” he told The Telegraph from Kalimpong. “Besides that, I tried my level best and prayed to God.”

Niranjan Shah’s tale is equally inspiring. The physically disabled student of Najrul Satabarshiki Vidyalaya in Phansidewa, who writes with his foot, passed Madhyamik in second division.

Like Sanjay, Seema Pradhan is also visually impaired and she, too, had studied at Mary Scott Home up to Class VIII before getting admission to a general school. Appearing for this year’s Higher Secondary exams from Taptasree High School Saptashree Gyaanpeeth in Kalimpong, she secured 72 per cent.

“She did well even after being bitten by a dog just before the exams,” said Capt. Vanlal Tluanga, the superintendent of Mary Scott Home, which is run by the Salvation Army.

With 88 per cent in English, Seema wants to do her BA in the subject in Delhi. “My teachers and friends helped me a lot in my achievement,” she said.

Three other visually impaired students, Padma Gurung of Taptasree Saptashree, Mira of Pranami High School and Benjamin Rai of SUMI, have been successful in the HS exams this year.

Sixteen-year-old Ankit Agarwal was born deaf. His father Ramesh Agarwal and mother Anita got him admitted to a special school in Delhi — Awaz Public School — where he underwent speech therapy and lip reading lessons. Later, when Ankit was nine, he was admitted to Lincoln’s School in Siliguri.

This year, Ankit passed ICSE and got good marks in computer application. “Two teachers, Gopa Gurung ma’am and Subhadeep Guha sir, took special care of me, giving tuition at home as well,” Ankit said, using sign language and his father as interpreter.

“These students should serve as examples to other challenged children and their parents,” a member of the North Bengal Council for the Disabled said.

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