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Visually challenged ‘bells’ the CAT, set to join IIM

Thu, 01/12/2017 - 11:11 -- geeta.nair

It's not easy to crack this test, but this visually-challenged young man has “belled the CAT”!

Ambati Venkata Prem Swaroop has scored an impressive 82.87 percentile points in the Common Admission Test (CAT-2016). The score may not be big, but factoring in his visual impairment, it is more than impressive, as it requires a mere 60 percentile points for People With Disabilities (PWD) to get through.

Prem belongs to Dharmavaram in Anantapur district, where his parents A. Muralidhar and A. Hemalatha run a grocery store. A student of Rural Development Trust (RDT), he lost his eyesight at the age of eight, when high fever damaged his optic nerve.

Braving the sudden darkness in his life, he continued his academic pursuit by joining Nethra Vidyalaya Junior College at Shamshabad and studied B.Com (Taxation) at Emerald's Degree College, Tirupati. Magnifying his ambition to improve his grocery store, he set his ‘sight’ on IIM and underwent training in Career Launcher, Tirupati. He has been short-listed by Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Kozhikode. “I expect similar offers from Shillong, Amritsar and Indore campuses too”, he told The Hindu on Wednesday.

JAWS (Job Access With Speech), a screen reader software meant for people with vision loss, has helped him ‘listen’ to his academic content with ease. Prem's friends have downloaded pdf versions of books, novels and talks on personality development and psychology on his laptop, which he intently listens to. In fact,The Hindu has played a major role in improving his vocabulary. “We insist upon trainees to learn 20 new words a day from The Hindu, which helped Prem a lot,”said Career Launcher Director N. Sridhar. Prem's childhood ambition was to become a soldier. “Not just those guarding the border are soldiers. I want to be a soldier working for the cause of nation building,” he adds.

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