Goma Rai cracked the CAT in 2010. She got a call from Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Lucknow and Indore, and Tata Institute of Social Sciences(TISS) Mumbai. She surprised everyone by choosing TISS over the IIMs. She chose to follow her dream of pursuing a course in human resources.
Swasti Saraogi spoke to her to find out more about her journey so far, and her future plans.
I am from the Solukhumbu district headquarters in Nepal.I came to India when I was 13 years old. I was studying in Nepal until the fifth standard when a German sponsor found me a school in Delhi. I studied in the Delhi Police Public School, RK Puram and stayed in the premises of the National Association for the Blind (NAB), RK Puram. After appearing for my Class X exams my sponsor suggested that I should go back to Nepal for my 11th and 12th standard. Ms. Shalini Khanna, director for NAB Centre for women helped me to return to India for a three-month computer course at NAB.I got admission into the Lady Shri Ram College’s (LSR) BA (Programme) course in the foreign students’ quota. The NAB, which does not permit students to stay in its Hauz Khas facility, went out of its way to accommodate me for three years.
I lost my eyesight to prolonged illness when I was four-and-a-half years old. Now I have no vision.
I had supportive friends. A classmate selflessly helped me for four years. He would dictate everything that the teacher would write on the board and I would write it down in braille.We were given extra help at the NAB centre. However, I started facing difficulty with mathematics and science subjects in the senior classes.
The teachers at NAB understand our language and our script. For example, we did mathematics in taylor frame. Taylor frame is a special equipment used by the visually impaired to practice mathematical problems. Mathematics in higher levels involves Algebra and Geometry for which again we used taylor frame. The teachers at NAB understood this script unlike our school teachers. In fact, for mathematics we were mostly dependent on these teachers. Physics and Chemistry were not a major problem as these are not completely practical.
Not all teachers permit recording of lectures. So I had to resort to scanning the books.
We use the same scanner as others use to scan documents onto the computer. Once the books are scanned we use an OCR to convert it into the text format. Then the specially designed software JAWS reads the text.
I took coaching from Career Launcher. They provided us with the study material in the e-text form so it became easier for me to study.
All differently-abled students are allowed an additional hour for the exams. The normal time allowed is two hours but we are given three hours. Besides, we were allowed to take a scribe according to the criteria set by them.
The scribe must fulfill the following criteria:
Is not a family member or a friend.,
Is not involved in any academic tutoring or preparation for the test to be administered.,
Has not completed 19 years of age,
Has academic qualification lower than that of the candidate,
Yes, it is very important. Around 240000 students took the CAT exam last year. With this Kind of competition a student’s fear and nervousness are multiplied if one does not know the writer.
No, we had the same questions as the others.
I had no choice but to leave them. CAT has negative marking so we cannot take any risks. Moreover it is not possible to do all questions in all sections because of the time constraint.
Both the institutes are highly prestigious. The Brand IIM has a lot of importance. However TISS is equally well known. Personally I feel TISS is more friendly , genuine and they are more sensitive to the needs of differently-abled people. I know a lot of visually impaired students who passed out of TISS and are leading very successful lives.
When I was getting into the field of management I felt I would be able to excel in the field of human resources.
I shall be staying in the hostel at TISS. Even LSR has a hostel accommodation. I had to stay at NAB because I could not meet the merit requirements for a hostel seat.
I have not decided on anything yet. Human Resources is a completely new field for me. I know I will have to work hard and I have prepared myself for that. The next two years are going to determine my future.
I am very fond of surfing the net and finding new information. I like reading about social and infrastructure issues. Besides, I love meeting and interacting with fellow visually impaired people. I learn a lot from their experiences and the challenges faced by them in everyday life.