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Visually challenged, but dreams live on

Mahesh Mhabdi, 19, spent more than two hours revising every chapter and “sacrificed” his interest in the cricket World Cup for his HSC exam. And on Friday, when the visually challenged Class 12 arts student of St Xavier’s College scored 73%, he felt it was all worth it.

mumbai Updated: May 28, 2011 00:52 IST
Reetika Subramanian

Mahesh Mhabdi, 19, spent more than two hours revising every chapter and “sacrificed” his interest in the cricket World Cup for his HSC exam. And on Friday, when the visually challenged Class 12 arts student of St Xavier’s College scored 73%, he felt it was all worth it.

“I was certain I would clear the exam, but I never imagined I would score more than 70%,” said Mhabdi, a regular at the Xavier’s Resource Centre for the Visually Challenged. “From Day 1, I would listen to all the audio tapes available at the centre and read from the Braille notes,” he said, thanking his writer, Mansa Shukla, a Class 11 student.

The 24 visually impaired Class 12 students from the three city colleges equipped with self-vision centres cleared the HSC exams. “More than all the software and the machines that we used, it was the holistic approach that we adopted that bore results,” said Father Frazer Mascarenhas, principal, St Xavier’s.

In the case of Vinoda Poojari, 18, of Ramnarain Ruia College, the results were a shocker. “I was expecting at least a distinction, but ended up getting only 53%,” said Poojari, who is dreading the thought of giving up her dream of becoming a computer engineer. “I doubt if I’ll make it to any cut-off list.”

College authorities, however, are generally pleased with their students’ performances, knowing well the difficulties they faced while preparing for and writing their exams.

“It is an outcome of the efforts of our students and the centre,” said Sangeeta Rao, centre coordinator, Ramnarain Ruia College.

Habiba Shaikh, 20, a student of SIES College at Sion was content with her low scores considering the trouble she had while preparing for the exam. “I tried my best. Ultimately, it boils down to destiny,” she philosophised.