Beating all odds, a visually impaired girl, Shrishti Tiwari, from Damoh town of Madhya Pradesh topped the state Higher Secondary Examination in Arts stream on May 23. Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced an award of Rs two lakh to Shrishti. The reward was announced by Shri Chouhan in Khargone after launching the Atal Jyoti Scheme aimed at supplying 24-hours power supply in rural and urban areas.
The sixteen year old Shristi secured 481 out of 500 marks. She stood fourth in the overall merit list of Madhya Pradesh Board of Secondary Education. She had cataract in both her eyes since birth and despite 11 surgeries, her condition did not improve. In fact, with time it only worsened. Now, she has only five per cent of sight left, that too in only one of her eyes. But she did not let her disability come in the way of her studies. She has been a bright student since the beginning, with many scholarships and certificates in her name. She told the media that she is very happy with her results. She, after class 5th, has been staying with her maternal grandparents Virendra, Sunita and uncle VK Gangele. They noticed her keen interest in studies and encouraged and helped her in all possible ways.
Shristi knows Braille and with the help of it takes down notes in school. Her uncle also got her a low-vision device with the help of which she reads text from books on her own. However, the device is strenuous for her and she cannot study for more than an hour at a stretch. So, her grandparents and uncle prepared her notes and narrated to her again and again till she was able to grasp and memorise them. This is how Shristi prepared for her boards. She would daily study for four to five hours and with the help of a writer she answered her exams. While many might be amazed by Shristi’s accomplishment, for her the journey has just begun. She wants to join the Indian Administrative Services and help others like her to become a part of the mainstream. (FOC)