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Orissa boy holds rank despite eye disorder

Sonal managed to secure 780 out of 800 marks in his class 12 boards despite suffering from an eye disorder.

india Updated: Jun 10, 2006 12:40 IST

A student of Orissa's Balasore district has secured the 10th rank in the annual Class 12 state examination despite having an eye disorder that prevents him from studying for more than two hours a day.

J Sonal, a student of Fakir Mohan Junior College at Balasore town of the coastal district managed to secure 780 out of 800 marks in the arts stream.

About 105,600 students from across the state had appeared in the examination.

The result declared Friday by the Orissa Council of Higher Secondary Education (CHSE) came as a surprise to both his family and college authorities.

"I had never imagined that he will perform so well in the examination," Asim Jena, the boy's father, said. Jena works as a manager in Syndicate Bank in Kolkata.

Jena said that his son has pigment problems in his both eyes, which doctors say cannot be cured. "If he studies for more than two hours consecutively, he suffers from irritation and his eyes start watering. So, he used to study continuously for half-an-hour with regular intervals."

"However, he concentrates on his studies when he sits down to read and maybe that is the reason he fared well," remarked Jena.

Said Sonal: "I used to give more importance to class room teaching. I attend all the classes and stay alert while absorbing lectures." The rank-holder added that he has no interest in private tuitions.

"I wanted to study science, but could not do it because of the eye disorder," he said. Sonal aims to join either the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) or the Indian Foreign Service (IFS).

His mother Asima Jena said: "We are happy that despite his eye problem he managed to grab a rank in the top ten list."

However, his father is worried that there is no remedy for the defect in his eyes. "We have contacted doctors at Hyderabad and Chennai, but have found no solution till date. But our search for doctors will continue," he added.

Sonal's teachers too were extremely proud of him. "He is a brilliant boy who takes part in debate competitions and wins. We wish him every success," said one of his teachers.

First Published: Jun 10, 2006 12:40 IST