CBSE Class 10 topper Anushka Panda didn’t want to be treated as a differently-abled child, says father
A genetic disorder could not deter Anushka Panda from passing the Class 10 CBSE Board exam with flying colours.
She topped the board exam in the differently-abled category, with a score of 97.8%. She scored 99 in Mathematics and Hindi, 98 in Science and Social Science and 95 in English.
Anushka, a student of Suncity School Gurugram, is also a trained classical singer. A fan of singers Mohd Rafi and Kishore Kumar, Panda aspires to become a software engineer.
“She suffers from muscular spinal atrophy and is wheelchair bound. She could not study for long hours and had to lie down after studying for an hour but she remained determined. She has to wear a spinal brace which makes it difficult for her to sit for long hours,” her father, Anup Panda, told PTI.
Despite all this, Anushka never wanted to be treated as special or differently-abled, her father said.
She had a special bench provided to her by the school, he said.
“She never wanted to use the extra time that was provided to her to finish the exam. She would always finish her exam in two-and-a-half hours. She did not want to be recognised as a special category child and as part of her preparations, she would solve sample papers in two-and-a-half hours,” he said.
Anushka said that she was “literally thrilled” when she got to know that she was a topper.
“I felt so happy after seeing the results but after I learnt I was a topper, I was literally thrilled. I have been preparing for my board exams from day one and would devote at least half-an-hour every day to each of the subjects,” she told PTI.
The teenager said that she would be ordering a pizza to celebrate her success. She credited her parents and her teachers for her success.
Anushka is the only child of her parents. Her father works with an MNC in Bhiwadi as the supply chain head while her mother works with another MNC in Gurgaon.
She loves listening to music to beat stress.
“I love reading, painting and music. I have been learning classical music for the last 10 years,” she said.
When asked whether she would also like to take up a career in singing, she said, “I want to get into academics. My love for music is something I would like to keep it to myself,” she added.