Visually Challenged Boy Makes It To IIIT
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13 September 2010
Venkatesh Potluri’s is an unusual success story. This visually impaired 17–year–old, who scored 85 per cent in Intermediate and was denied admission at most engineering colleges owing to hisdisability, has now secured admission in International Institute of Information Technology (IIIT), Hyderabad.
Potluri’s journey to IIIT–H has been a six–month long ordeal, during which he ran from pillar to post to secure admission. He was first barred from writing his All India Engineering Entrance Examination (AIEEE) and when he started approaching colleges, he was denied admission there as well.
Potluri says he tried getting admission in almost all degree colleges offering a course in computer science, but none looked at his score and denied admission citing his disability. While IIIT–H came to his rescue last month, he was officially admitted to the college only last week.
"He has been given admission solely on merit. The waiting period was really long and we had even contemplated moving the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) had he failed to secure admission anywhere," said Uma Sudhakar, mother of Venkatesh.
A regular at the National Cyber Olympiad, Venkatesh has been academically brilliant having stood first in his school in Class X. "I study with the help of a computer software. Not only does it help me finish my task on time, it reads my screen and tells me how to solve tasks," explained Venkatesh.
The youngster explains that he studies with the help of a software called ‘Jaws’, a programme designed to work with a speech synthesizer to help improve the productivity level of visually impaired people.
"We never thought of putting him into a special school. His teachers have encouraged him a lot and made him what he is," says Uma Sudhakar, Venkatesh’s mother. The younger of two siblings, Venkatesh’s elder sister is an engineering student in a city college. His father is a businessman and owns a factory at Jeedimetla.