Unlike most Secondary School Certificate (SSC) students who came out of their exam centres on Saturday complaining about how as lengthy and tiresome their English paper was, students battling cancer were thankful for just having the strength to write the exam.
Out of the 3.82 lakh students writing the exams this time from the Mumbai division, nine cancer survivors, of which three are from Mumbai, are appearing for the exam between their chemotherapy sessions.
A 15-year-old student of JB Khot High School, Borivli, who is battling cancer, has got special permission from the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education to write his exams from his school itself. He is so weak that a writer had to be arranged for him.
Determined not to miss out on the SSC exams despite his condition, the boy decided to appear for the exams against his parents’ wishes. “Everyone told me I could write the exams later, but I did not want to waste my academic year. I was diagnosed with the cancer in December 2014 by then I had already started exam preparations," said the student, requesting anonymity.
“The doctor had advised that he needed to be kept in clean environment as his immunity is low due to the ongoing chemotherapy sessions,” said Krishna Sureshbabu, the principal. “We even arranged for a writer to write his papers as he is too weak to do it himself,” he added.
?Shweta Dobliyal, 16, and Sneha Ari, 15, meanwhile, are writing their own exams. “My shoulders and legs hurt when I sit and write, but I cannot trust a writer with my paper,” said Sneha, a student of Sacred Heart High School, Worli.
“My English paper did not go as well as I expected but I am happy that I wrote my own paper,” she added.
Shweta too did not opt for a writer even though her right hand was operated upon as she was suffering from bone cancer. “I am surprised by how strong-willed she is. The marks really do not matter. She wrote the exam slowly but she is satisfied she has written the paper by herself,” said Geeta, her mother.