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Times of India
15 April 2010
Shreya Bhandary
Mumbai, India

A Picture of courage: Aruna (right) with her mother Poornima A Picture of courage: Aruna (right) with her mother Poornima
Aruna Dubey passed her HSC boards in Science with 60% in 2009 and now hopes to become a teacher in computer engineering soon. The only hitch is that this 20–year–old has been paralysed waist down since she was three and has been carried to her school and college by her mother every single day.

It did not help when this girl from the western suburbs got a CET examination centre in Ghatkopar last year. The long commute sapped her and her mother’s energy, and as a result, she could not do very well. This year, she is hoping against hope that the authorities show a little sensitivity.

“She was three when she contracted typhoid, which worsened in some weeks. Soon, we realised that she was paralysed waist down and we could not afford medicines either,” said Poornima Dubey (47), Aruna’s mother. Originally from Benaras, the Dubey family came down to Mumbai to help their daughter get better medical attention, but that did not help.

“She can’t even control her limbs, but she has trained herself well enough to control her fingers,” said Sangeeta Srivastava, principal of T P Bhatia Junior College of Science, Kandivli (W), where Aruna studied throughout. To make it easier for Aruna, the school built a special bench and seat for her to sit through the lectures. Even the toilet seat at one of the girls’ washrooms was modified for Aruna’s comfort. “As she comes from a poor background, the management also arranged for her fees,” she added.

Usually, Aruna’s mother lifted her to class every day and helped her with everything else except studies. “Travelling all the way from Kandivli to Ghatkopar was a big problem for my mother, still we went all the way. But I could not write the paper well on the new seat and my score was poor,” said Aruna. For her HSC boards, the school made a special request to the centre where Aruna was supposed to appear for her papers and shifted Aruna’s seat to the centre.

This year, Aruna has applied for CET again. “I have written to the authorities, but they are not ready to co–operate with us,” said Srivastava.

“It has been pleasure to see Aruna get this far. I hope she gets a chance to prove her ability,” said Poornima.

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