In today’s world who doesn’t want to be successful, who don’t want to be in the limelight for something they’ve achieved. When I say everyone, I include the differently able coexisting with us on this beautiful planet. Often, in our daily walks, we come across such people, and we feel sorry for them. And that is the mentality that we as Indians have to change. The blind and other differently abled people are as complete as us. Even they can achieve things of the caliber that we “completely abled” dream of doing. Sometimes even more. May it be academically or physically. Kartik Sawhney is a perfect example of the above situation.
Kartik Sawhney, a Delhi-based visually impaired is the right example of kind of personalities who create their opportunities from the impediments standing tall against them. Karthik’s father owns an automobile spare parts shop in Lajpatnagar Delhi. His mother is a homemaker and has a twin sister and elder brother. Karthik had an innate quest for pursuing science subjects and to become a software engineer. But according to Indian education system, Science is not the cup of tea for blind children. Once Karthik completed his X class, he persuaded his parents to get him admitted to science stream in class XI, but the CBSE board citing the reason of visually impaired person can’t cope up with ‘visual inputs’ like graphs, models and diagrams denied him the seat. Karthik didn’t budge and wrote a bunch of letters to the CBSE controller requesting for science seat. He even took help of NGO campaign to put forth his case. Finally, CBSE agreed and allowed Kartik to pursue science with computer science.
True to his passion, Kartik cleared his XII exams with a whopping score of 95%. His computer score was 99 and 95 in Physics, Chemistry, Maths, and English, with a total score of 479 out of 500.
As reported by India Times, Kartik was well supported by his science teachers in high school at Delhi Public school, RK Puram Delhi. They narrated him about the features of apparatus, and his exams had multiple choice questions.
Kartik’s fight against our education system didn’t end with proving his prowess in XII class as his ambition was to study engineering at Indian Institute of Technology. He wanted to take up JEE-Exams. But Indian IITs do not have a system in place to accept Visually Impaired students. So Kartik was once again denied his course of choice. There is a saying
‘If one door closes hundreds open up.’
The same thing happened with Kartik. Stanford University, USA was eagerly waiting to accept him as its student with a fully funded scholarship. Kartik is currently pursuing Engineering at Stanford University. To add a feather to his cap, he has won an internship at Microsoft Corporation. Heather Eichholz, a software engineer at Microsoft, who interviewed Kartik, praises his talent wholeheartedly.
Kartik is truly a multifaceted personality who has accomplished various distinctions in his tenure as a student. He stood first in class at Delhi Public school RK Puram from 5thstandard to X standard. In 2009 he won “National Child Award for Exceptional Achievements” from the ministry of women and child welfare Govt of India, which is the highest award of the Indian government to honor children. In 2011 took part in 11th National Cyber Olympiad and bagged 1st All India Rank and 3rd International Rank.
I think we all know that our government spends more the 30% of its yearly revenue on the Education Sector. But is it being spent in the right way? Is it being spent on the right people? Students like Kartik prove it all. What we need now, is the support from the common people. Kartik’s plan is to initiate an organization to support people with disabilities so that they can pursue careers of their choice. Also, it is the time that Indian Education system reframes its regulations to support differently able people to build careers of their choice.
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