Her speech is slow but clear. She can’t move her limbs and she can barely hold a pen.
While most others suffering from Ataxia, a neurological sign and symptom consisting of gross lack of coordination of muscle movements, stay confined to their homes, Sonika Gulati (18) has been attending school regularly.
In her Class X boards, she scored 63 per cent, with distinction in Mathematics.
Daughter of a businessman who sells computer parts, Gulati took help of a writer to appear for her class X exams.
“I was nervous but I expected to do well,” she said. “But my marks are better than what I hoped for.”
She said her friends prepared notes for her. “I can’t write so I read class notes and books. I even read Mathematics,” she said.
The Government School in Vikaspuri Block-A ensured that her class was on the ground floor for five years.
She was allowed to come late and leave early if her treatment demanded. “Since she was always good in studies, we wanted to continue her education,” said her mother Sunita Gulati.
She said Sonika was was diagnosed with Ataxia and 75 per cent disability at the age 11. “Her condition has got worse since then,” she said. “However, that has not hampered her spirit.”
Her friend Manisha Mittal said Sonika was great at reciting poems. “She takes part in extra curricular activities in school,” she said. “She loves poetry.”
Her father Deepak Gulati’s eyes welled up with tears. “She is not like any other normal child,” he said. “Rather, she is most special because she gives us courage to keep fighting.”