Eyeway Stories

Up against multiple hardships

Twenty-two-year-old Kamlesh Kumar Gupta was born in a small village of Sonbhadra district in Uttar Pradesh. He was born with a vision impairment and his parents took him to see several doctors until at the age of 14 they were told that the sight loss was irreversible.

The family then started focusing on Kamlesh’s education. When he was denied admission in school due to blindness, the parents requested for the boy to be allowed to sit and listen in the classroom to all the lectures. This way, he managed to acquire knowledge, but he couldn’t sit for any exams. With the help of a non-profit organization, he managed to appear for Class 8 exams, passed and applied for higher education.

This time when he was refused admission in Class 9, they approached the District Magistrate who in turn directed the District Council to ensure that Kamlesh was admitted into the school. Elated with this opportunity, the boy worked hard, learning the Braille script to read and write independently. And traveling 13 kms daily to attend his classes.

He wanted to pursue graduation from Lucknow University, for which he had to appear for the Common University Entrance Test (CUET) conducted by the National Test Agency (NTA). Kamlesh filled the application and prepared for the entrance, which was scheduled for May 25, 2023, in Lucknow. But when he couldn’t locate his admit card online two days before the exam, he panicked and sought Eyeway’s help.

The Eyeway counselor tried reaching the concerned authorities via official helpline, but there was no response. The counselor also tweeted the issue to NTA’s handle hoping to get some information.

While the Eyeway counselor tirelessly tried calling the NTA office, Kamlesh traveled 400 kms to Lucknow, to reach his exam center on the scheduled date.

Meanwhile, someone finally answered the helpline and casually shared with Eyeway that due to a technical glitch the exam was postponed to a later date and Kamlesh could appear for the same in his own district.

This lack of communication put unnecessary stress on the visually impaired student as well as his parents. He had to arrange for a scribe and rush to Lucknow, all for an exam which was postponed without any intimation. Who is responsible for critical information to be shared on time with aspiring students who go through multiple hardships to build an independent future?

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