‘She is our star’: UP girl beats 100% disability to score 8.8 in CBSE 10th exam

She was the only student with over 40% disability to appear for the CBSE class 10 exam in the Bareilly region of Uttar Pradesh this year.

education Updated: Jun 04, 2017 10:27 IST
Chandan Kumar
Chandan Kumar
Hindustan Times, Bareilly
CBSE 10th results,Uttar Pradesh,Board exam result
16-year-old Mahima Shah with her family in Bareilly.(Sachin Saini/Hindustan Times)

As any other student waiting for the CBSE class 10 exam result, Mahima Shah, 16, was nervous.

“Only a bit,” she said, perched on a wheelchair. Mahima finds it difficult even to move her limbs as congenital spastic cerebral palsy prevented the normal development of her motor neurons inhibiting movement in muscles.

But the disability could not curb her indomitable spirit.

As her father Shailendra Shah entered her roll number on his mobile phone, her results flashed on the screen: 9(CGPA) in Science, 9 in Maths, 9 in Hindi, 9 in English and 8 in Social Science.

Her overall cumulative grade point average (CGPA) is 8.8.

“How did you do that!” Shah asked excitedly, unable to believe what he just saw on his mobile screen.

“Oh, 8.8!” Mahima said with a broad smile. She tried to add something, but her weak voice muscles prevented her from speaking further.

Mahima’s score is 8% more than what she expected.

She was the only student with over 40% disability to appear for the CBSE class 10 exam in the Bareilly region of Uttar Pradesh this year.

Mahima cannot walk, stand or even turn a page of her notebook without support.

She dictated her answers to a writer, permitted by the board. “The writer was a year junior to me. It was very difficult to make her understand what I was saying,” Mahima recalled, pausing thrice.

“The worst (experience) was during the maths paper because she was not good at calculations. But eventually it turned out well, I guess,” she added, laughing.

“The disease has weakened every muscle of her body, but she has a very sharp brain which compensates for everything else,” said her father, a non-scientific staffer at the Indian Veterinary Research Institute in Bareilly.

“I sensed her potential in her early years and decided to help her groom it,” he added.

Mahima’s mother Smita left her teaching job to take care of her daughter at home.

Even now, she wakes her up and prepares her for school. “We are a team and Mahima is our star. Our life revolves around her,” said Smita.

Even getting into school and take the board exam was not easy.

“Regular schools like ours do not have the facility to cater to the needs of such students,” said her class teacher Anoop Kumar. “But her academic performance and her father’s long battle with the board forced us to admit her and allow her to sit for the exam.”

Though she was unable to study for long hours, she was regular in her studies.

“She never skipped study hour even for her daily exercises prescribed by the doctor,” her father said.

Mahima wants to study biological sciences and aims to become a veterinary behaviourist.

To pursue her dream she wants to go abroad.

“People care more about animals in western countries, I have seen it on television,” she remarked.

“I want her to become whatever she wants in life,” Shah said.

The mother said: “Having such a special kid at our home itself is an achievement for us. We will be with her in whatever she does.”

“No, when I open my clinic and invite you to inaugurate it, that will be the biggest achievement,” Mahima chipped in with her characteristic sense of humour.

First Published: Jun 04, 2017 10:26 IST