Disability not a hindrance to achieve success

Cerebral palsy affected boy and a girl with amputated hand became first to appear for the SSC examinations with the aid of a computer
Ramannagari Bhargavi (L) and Guru Swami
Ramannagari Bhargavi (L) and Guru Swami

VIJAYAWADA: In a remarkable testament to perseverance, Ramannagari Bhargavi, a 15-year-old girl hailing from Tenegallu village in Ananthapur district, and Guru Swami, a 17-year-old student affected by cerebral palsy from Ananthapur, have etched their names into history as the first non-visually challenged individuals across the nation to undertake the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) examination with the aid of a computer, despite facing upper orthopedic challenges.

Bhargavi’s journey began at the tender age of eight when she lost her right hand in an accident involving a peanut machine. Born into an agricultural family, she faced this life-altering event with unwavering determination, supported by her parents, R Sreenivasulu and R Kalpana, who themselves had endured the loss of their eldest son to brain fever.

Despite the initial despair and medical recommendations of partial amputation due to infection risk, Bhargavi’s spirit remained unbroken. Her enrolment in Class III at RDT Primary School in Kanekal village, marked the beginning of her courageous odyssey.

Throughout her academic journey, Bhargavi displayed exceptional dedication, transitioning to RDT High School in Raptadu village in 2018, where she excelled academically and garnered admiration from both peers and educators alike. Beyond the classroom, she demonstrated prowess in sports, particularly badminton, achieving commendable success at the state level and representing her state in para badminton Nationals.

Recently, Bhargavi achieved a historic milestone by becoming the first upper orthopedic challenge girl to sit for the SSC exam using a computer, securing an impressive 85.8% and emerging as the top scorer among special needs students. Her aspirations to pursue a career as a computer engineer from an IIT and excel as an international para badminton player underscore her unwavering determination to defy limitations and inspire others to chase their dreams.

Expressing immense pride in his daughter’s accomplishments, R Sreenivasulu, lauded her confidence and resilience, recognising these qualities as instrumental to her success.

Meanwhile, Guru Swami, a student at RDT High School, confronted his own set of challenges stemming from cerebral palsy. However, through digital education and his proficiency in typing despite his unique finger condition, he defied expectations and achieved a remarkable 54.8% in the board exams, surpassing the minimum requirement of 10% imposed due to his disability. His story serves as a testament to the efficacy of the Vision 2025 Inclusive Andhra project and its digitally accessible pedagogy, with adaptive technologies such as sticky keys proving invaluable in facilitating his academic pursuits.

“I have surmounted obstacles to realise my aspirations, demonstrating that determination transcends limitations. My family and I rejoice in my success in the SSC examins, where I utilised computers independently. I am committed to continuing my educational journey,” remarked Guru.

Senior Advisor of Samagra Siksha echoed this sentiment, citing Bhargavi and Guru Swami as exemplars of the Vision 2025 Inclusive Andhra project and its commitment to fostering inclusive education through digitally accessible platforms.

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The New Indian Express