Kerala high court lets 20-yr-old with cerebral palsy enroll in medical college
It is a sweet victory for P Aswathi, a Kerala student with cerebral palsy denied admission to a medical college she was entitled to according to her rank in the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET). A medical board had concluded she was unfit for the medical profession because her right hand lacks the required mobility.
She fought back, and won.
The Kerala High Court has ordered the government to ensure that the 20-year-old is admitted to the medical college closest to her village in Malappuram district’s Karuvarakundu area, 350 km from state capital Thiruvananthapuram.
“I never thought I could cross this hurdle... My dream has come true,” Aswathi told Hindustan Times after enrolling at the Government Medical College in Manjeri, about 30 km away, on Tuesday. She also spoke about the many battles that she has had to fight growing up. The medical board’s recommendation was just one of them.
She lost her mother when she was just two-month-old and her father, a farm labourer, has been unwell for years.
Her uncle Suresh PK helped, encouraging her when she needed it most and supporting her all the way.
“A brilliant girl, she has an amazing grasping power. The entire village salutes her indomitable spirit and stood with her... There were many well wishers who came forward to help her,” said a social worker of the area C P Shaiju who helped her to move the High Court. He said people like him will go all out to make her a good doctor.
“This was my second chance in the NEET. I really toiled to get good marks. But when the medical board said I was not fit, my world came upside down. But I thought I should not give up. Many people stood with me and prodded me to continue my fight. I dedicate my seat to them,” she said after becoming a doctor she would like to treat poor and differently-abled and wants to do research in permanent movement disorders among children.