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Vision for future guides 23 impaired students

Thu, 05/28/2015 - 10:49 -- geeta.nair

PUNE: These 23 Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC, standard XII) students from Niwant Andh Mukta Vikasalaya (NAMV) have been through the most testing times in life: they have been visually impaired since birth, born in families with measly incomes and very little to sustain on. 

But they have resolved to turn things around for the better, so that one day they too could head companies or government departments and make their parents proud. As many as 11 students from this institution have passed the HSC exam with distinction, from a total of 23. 

Maroti Ingle (19) from Hingoli is the son of a small-time farmer. But scoring an enviable 84% in the HSC exam was something his father would have never thought his son could achieve. He believes that one can surmount the biggest of obstacles with hard work and truly applies this motto to the way he lives his life. 

"I would spend most of my time travelling from my hostel in Nigdi to college and then from college to class. Then I would study till late in the night with the help of Braille books and audio recordings," said Maroti. 

He would travel for six hours a day despite being visually impaired. "I am a poor farmer's boy but I wish to be rich someday. I would then use my money to help the poor the best I can. That is one of the reasons why I studied hard," he said. Maroti wants to become an IAS officer. "I have seen injustice and it is my resolve to not allow anybody to become a victim," he added. 

Raju Yadav, who hails from a small district in Bihar, scored 77%. His father is a factory worker but Raju has bigger dreams. He wishes to ultimately enrol into one of the Indian Institutes of Management to pursue his MBA. 

His inspiration: a visually impaired friend. "My friend got into the institute on the basis of his grit and tenacity. I was lucky to hear one of his speeches, which changed my life for good. He had said that being visually impaired does not mean that we are without talent. We would have to grab the opportunities without ever thinking that we are lesser than others," said Raju. 

Pooja Asmar from Dhule has seen her mother toil day and night stitching clothes for others and earning Rs 3,000 per month. Being a fatherless child instilled in Pooja the urge to change her life and her mother's. "I moved to Pune two years ago to secure the distinction of having passed the HSC exam from a big city. Scoring 72% in the exam is only the beginning of my journey to success," she said. 

Pooja has been through times when there was not enough money to support her education. After having studied in a blind school till class X, she decided to come out of her shell and enrol with Niwant to realize her dreams. "I want to become a chartered accountant and help my family put these times behind till a brighter day dawns upon us," she said. 

Suvidha Waghmare from Nanded too is a visually impaired student from Niwant who has had her share of trials and tribulations. "I have had my share of problems but I have come through this test with flying colours," she said, referring to the 72% she scored in the HSC examination. 

Suvidha wishes that she had more guide books to rely on as there are very few in Braille. "Guide books make it easy to locate answers to questions. In the absence of guide books, we had to rely on our ability to search through text books for answers, which is a time consuming process," she said.

"I found accounts intimidating. Being visually impaired, we had no clue about what people call columns or rows or how to make entries, among other things. We then approached Niwant director Meera Badve with our problem. She helped us understand the subject. I then began to love accounts and scored 78% in it in the HSC exam," said Suvidha. 


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