On Monday afternoon, when the results of the CBSE class 10 examination, filtered in, Dilwin Prince logged online like every other student to check how he performed. When he found out that he had scored 98.6 per cent, he was ecstatic in what felt like a great sense of achievement. But a few minutes later, when his school principal told him over the phone that he was the national topper, he couldn’t believe his ears. “I said thanks to God. I was very surprised,” he said.
Dilwin, a hearing-impaired student from Thrissur district in Kerala, is the national topper in the Children with Special Needs (CWSN) category of the CBSE. When he was in third grade, viral flu affected the nerves in his ear resulting in hearing impairment. But with constant treatment and medicines, the impairment has dropped from over 60 per cent to 29 per cent currently.
‘In lower-primary classes, I would tell my teachers about the condition so they would speak loudly. I would always sit on the front bench too. But after that, I stopped telling the teachers. I would use their lip movement to understand things,” said Dilwin, a student of the Devamatha CMI Public School in Thrissur where he has been enrolled since the first grade.
“Last year, a teacher recommended that I apply for the CWSN category because it would help me in my career in future,” he added.
Video | Meet CBSE Class 10 topper
His father Prince, who works in medicine distribution in Thrissur, said he was very happy with his son’s achievements despite the disability. “He had a hearing problem, but he was always able to control it and move on. He would always clear all his doubts with the teachers in the classroom itself so that there’s little room for ambiguity,” Prince said.
Dilwin, who stood seventh in the general category nationally, scored full marks in Information Technology (IT) and Social Science, 99 in English and Science, 98 in Maths and 97 in Malayalam. He said while he did not push too much by studying long hours, but made sure to dedicate all his concentration when he did. He loves to paint, especially pencil-drawing, and make craft projects using waste materials. He also has a habit of reading the newspaper every-day, especially the sports pages.
He plans to take biology-mathematics module for Class 11-12 and opt for an engineering course later, preferably at the NIT.