Celebrating amid a lockdown in his village near Raigad, visually-impaired Rohit Bhangune is delighted about his result of 93 per cent in the SSC examination. The school topper for Koregaon Park Blind School for Boys said that it was his diligence and hard work that led to the high score.
“I never expected to score this well, but I am very happy with my marks. I was very apprehensive about the results as our geography paper got cancelled and the results were delayed. Nonetheless, everything worked out for the best and now I am looking forward to joining the arts stream in Fergusson Junior College,” he said.
Bhangune shared that while he attempted his papers with the help of his scribe, there was some hesitation from his parents as the fear of the virus was enveloping the city at a fast pace. “The scribes were not scared and neither were we, as we had taken all necessary precautions during our last written exams. But my parents were doubtful and rightly so, as the scribes have to sit next to us to attempt the paper. Our school administration persuaded them and hence we could attempt the examination,” he said.
During the lockdown, he utilised his time inside to watch shows on Animal Kingdom and movies, as well as for reading.
For 18-year-old Sairaje Shete, the SSC exam score of 85 per cent was overwhelming. After losing his eyesight and a study year due to retinal damage in 2013, Shete strived to work twice as hard to catch up.
“I lost my eyesight for a completely unknown reason and even after several attempts to restore my sight, it has been futile … Nonetheless, I want to appear for civil services and this is my first step towards it,” he said.
The avid chess player said that the lockdown had cancelled many of his plans. “We had a cricket camp by the Cricket Association for the Blind of Maharashtra in April, followed by a trip to Shimla with a group of classmates from the blind school in May. Instead, during the lockdown, I spent most of my time engaging in online Antakshari hosted by our seniors as well as reading,” he said.
Another student with an impressive score is Vedant Bhagwat (17), an autistic student from the DES Secondary School, who secured 71.6 per cent. “Vedant is a simple child and I am so pleased with his result. Through early therapy, he was able to develop fine motor skills and was able to attempt his paper. While he did not score that well in subjects like languages and Social Studies, he scored exceptionally well in Maths and Science. I am planning to make him pursue commerce in BMCC, as the subject is not descriptive. Additionally, I know the subject so I will be able to guide him until physical classes begin,” said his mother Surashree Bhagwat.
She said Vedant holds a keen interest in the prospective careers of banking and hotel management.
“The celebrations are very low-key as Vedant is unable to comprehend big amounts of happiness. While he is happy with all the congratulatory calls, he sometimes does not get big gestures,” she said.
Visually-impaired student Ashita Dalvi (16) of Poona School and Home for Blind, who scored 90 per cent, has an unusual plan: she wants to pursue a career in music. She has been practicing the harmonium and the keyboard at her residence during the lockdown. “I am very happy after getting 90 per cent and I am planning to pursue Arts, apart from my music. My wish is to become a playback singer and I have full support from my family for that,” she said.
Although excited for her junior college, Dalvi is also uncertain about online classes. “This will be a new experience for us, with newer challenges. But I guess this is the safest option that we have, considering the situation.”
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