“If he was alive today, you would be interviewing him, not us… he would have scored equally well in the other two papers he never got a chance to sit for,” said Mamatha Sridhar (49), mother of 16-year-old Vinayak, a student of Noida’s Amity International School.
Vinayak, who suffered from muscular dystrophy, passed away in the middle of his class X CBSE Board exams. On Monday, as students and parents anxiously looked at Board exam results, a few WhatsApp messages trickled in Mamatha’s phone about his “stellar score”.
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Vinayak was two years old when he was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy, after he couldn’t sit or stand without support. By age seven, he was wheelchair-bound. By age 13, he had to be fed by his parents. “His classmates were most helpful as they would open his tiffin box, pour water in the bottle cap as that’s all he could hold. A lot of them called us after they found out about his result,” said Mamatha.
Drawn to Sanskrit, he often spoke to his teacher in the language. “Vinayak was a good quizzer, loved mythology and history. He was excited about his social studies exam,” said Mamatha.
On March 26, Vinayak woke up and told his parents he had to return to his books for the last two Board exams, including social studies. “He had breakfast, and when my husband was bathing him, he lost consciousness,” said Mamatha. By the time the family reached the hospital, he had died of a cardiac arrest.
The family is based in Noida, and Vinayak’s elder sister (24) is in the US for higher studies. “She was a CBSE topper. Vinayak wanted to follow her footsteps, and he did, in a way,” said Mamatha.