Ipsita Bhattacharya (17) is like any other board exam student, except that the Class 12 RN Podar student has been writing her papers using both her hands.
A series of unfortunate events, beginning with a road accident in which she temporarily lost the use of her right hand, forced her to start using her left hand.
“After the accident, I cannot use the right hand for long. So when it starts hurting I switch to the left while writing the exams,” said Bhattacharya. The Andheri resident refused to engage a writer for the exams and has been given an extra hour for each CBSE exam paper.
In November 2008, Bhattacharya fell out of an autorickshaw after a speeding car hit it, on the eve of her Class 11 half-yearly exams. The nerves in her right arm were damaged and she still hasn’t regained full use of the limb.
While undergoing physiotherapy, she started practicing her ABCs with her left hand. “I was very slow at first. With practice, both speed and handwriting has improved,” she said.
The painkillers landed her in further problems — ulcers in her intestines and a spate of four hospitalisations in six months. A fractured leg and a sprained back followed a little later.
“At times I felt completely hopeless and I would think, ‘Why me?’,” said Bhattacharya.
But she didn’t give up. Having missed several months of school and temporarily putting her dream of going to IIT on hold, Bhattacharya is focusing on her next exam, Maths.
“She has been extremely brave. Despite everything that has happened to her nothing has deterred her,” said principal Avnita Bir.