The right to choose!

Majority of our society deems persons with vision impairment to be worthless, as the general perception is that they cannot be educated or employed like their sighted counterparts. Even people who teach visually impaired children in special schools often believe that their career choices are limited to arts stream. So a lot of blind children stop studying mathematics and science after Class 8.

The ones who are determined to take up unconventional options hit several stumbling blocks. This story talks of one such student in Indore, Madhya Pradesh. Gomtesh Gandhi has an eye condition called Retinitis Pigmentosa by birth, which results in gradual loss of vision. Since the age of 7, Gomtesh was educated in special school for deaf and blind children.

While he could study most subjects using braille script or audiobooks, he faced difficulty in grasping symbols used in Maths. But nonetheless, Gomtesh managed to score 84% in his Class X exams and decided to opt for science stream.

By this time, Gomtesh had lost 90% of his vision, which meant that studying physics and chemistry would be quite difficult. But not impossible. He was determined to score well but taking science practicals could prove tricky with his blindness.

He reached out to Eyeway to seek clarity on the matter. Our counselor apprised Gomtesh of CBSE guidelines that exempt visually impaired people from taking practical exams. Instead they can be handed an alternate question paper to assess their knowledge of the subject. Gomtesh was further relieved after he heard the accounts of several other visually impaired students who had managed to pursue higher studies and careers in different sciences.

We hope Gomtesh can pick options depending on his aptitude and not limited by what the ill-informed education system throws at him.