This 27-year-old visually impaired girl from Ranchi lives a life against all odds.
Without any aid of Braille (a tactile writing system used by people who are blind), Sweta Mandal topped post graduate course in human rights from Ranchi University.
For her achievement, she was recently awarded gold medal by the Jharkhand governor Droupadi Murmu. She has also cleared the National Eligibility Test (NET) and is presently pursuing an integrated course in MPhil and PhD at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU).
Sweta wasn’t 100 percent visually impaired from birth. At the age of six, she was diagnosed with a brain tumor, and years later due to the side effect from radiation, she lost her vision.
“I was six when I was operated upon for brain tumour and had to undergo a radiation procedure. I was fine after that except for occasional pain in my eyes, headaches and vomiting. In 2004, when I was in Class X, I lost my eyesight, which was a radiation after-effect.”
Without no help, either medical or technical, she continued to overcome every hurdle. She scored 65 per cent in her Class XII boards exams and got graduated in sociology from IGNOU.
Sweta scored 65percent in class XII boards exam
She told that it was possible because of the support from parents and teachers.
“It was very difficult for me to cope with studies after I lost my sight. I did not know braille and was clueless about what to do next,” she recalls. Her parents, who are doctors, used to record her lessons. Sweta’s mother Dr Om Kumari said
“I would take her books to my clinic. I would read up the chapters and record them in cassettes. The next day, Sweta would listen to the recordings.”
Dr Kumari said this was the only available way. Her parents, who are proud of her, say that they will support her as long as she requires. Sweta is focused on a career in teaching and research in human rights.
However, Sweta has complaints with the system. She said, “Please tell them merely notifying a rule for students with special needs doesn’t help.”