“I never felt any handicap. I think I would have got the same marks had I been able to see too,” said Ankita Sehdev. Despite being 85-90% visually impaired, she got a 95% score in humanities stream in CBSE Class 12, results of which were declared on Saturday.
Ankita suffered from a medicinal allergy when she was around three years old, which impacted her vision. She underwent treatment at the Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh. But, after Class 6, her vision started deteriorating sharply. Her mother did not lose heart. “I used to narrate lessons to her. But mathematics was a bit of a problem,” said the mother, Smiley Sehdev.
“When we went to the Institute for the Blind in Sector 26, Chandigarh, for admission, they guided us to record the lessons and play back for her. Mathematics could be exempted to her from the CBSE. So when she used to be in school, I used to record the lessons for 2-3 hours. When she came back from the school, she used to listen to the recording,” said Smiley, who has studied only up to under-graduation.
Since Class 9, Ankita was studying at DAV School, Sector 8, Panchkula. “My friends have taken good care of me in the school. They solved all my problems,” said Ankita, who used a writer for exams. “I know Braille too in English. I take notes in Braille in class,” she said. “She never showed any frustration. We never let her feel so,” said Smiley.
Regarding her plans, Ankita said she wants to become an IAS officer. “I think it will make me self-dependent. It is my mother’s dream,” she said. Her father Chanchal Sehdev is a jeweller in Manimajra though the family resides in Sector 8, Panchkula.
Behind the success, her love for music has played a part too. Ankita scored 100% in music while she scored 97 in English, 91 in Hindi, 95 in political science, and 92 in economics. Last year, she won the Rafi Award at an annual competition held in memory of the legendary singer Mohammad Rafi.
She has also reached the finals of a singing competition on DD Punjabi. The final contest is on May 28. Lata Mangeshkar and Shreya Ghosal are her favourite singers.