Published: 29th June 2020
This boy from rural Karnataka is writing his SSLC exams using his feet sans extra time. This is his inspiring story
Kaushik Acharya's hands are not fully grown therefore he was taught to use his feet to write or draw when he was only three years old. This is how and why he refuses to use a scribe
Among the sea of students who wrote their SSLC exams in Karnataka last week, Kaushik Acharya stood out. Unlike all the others, owing to a disability that left his hands underdeveloped, Kaushik wrote his exams with the pen held between his toes. A student of SVS High School in Bantwal, he wrote all his SSLC exams this way. While his right hand is partially developed, his left measures only few inches.
Early on in life, he was taught by his mother to use feet, hold the pen between toes and write or draw. You will be surprised to see Kaushik writing normally like any other child with the same speed. He says, "My mother taught me to write by using my toes when I was three years old. From then on, there was no looking back and I learnt everything I was supposed to with academics and otherwise."
You will be surprised to know that this 15-year-old boy opted to write the SSLC exams all by himself. He explains to us the reason behind it, "The school, as well as KSEEB officials, asked me if I need a scribe to write the exam and as usual, my answer was 'No'. When I tell them the answer orally, the scribe might misunderstand and write a different answer. Plus, it is time-consuming. I need to finish the exam within three hours, hence, I decided to write the exams by myself."
ಬಂಟ್ವಾಳ ತಾಲ್ಲೂಕಿನ ಎಸ್.ವಿ.ಎಸ್ ಪ್ರೌಢ ಶಾಲೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಪರೀಕ್ಷೆಗೆ ಹಾಜರಾಗಿ ಯಾರ ಸಹಾಯವೂ ಪಡೆಯದೇ ಕಾಲಿನ ಬೆರಳುಗಳ ಮೂಲಕವೇ ಉತ್ತರ ಬರೆದ ಈ ಪೋರ ಕೌಶಿಕ್ ನಿಗೆ ನನ್ನ ಹೃದಯಪೂರ್ವ ಮೆಚ್ಚುಗೆ. ಇಂತಹ ವ್ಯಕ್ತಿಗಳು ಬದುಕಿನ ಸಾರ್ಥಕ ಅರ್ಥ ಕಲ್ಪಿಸುತ್ತಾರೆ. ಸಮಾಜದ ಎಲ್ಲ ಮಾನವೀಯ ನಿಲುವುಗಳನ್ನು ಸಮರ್ಥಿಸುತ್ತಾರೆ. pic.twitter.com/oLV8Ef0RN8— S.Suresh Kumar, Minister - Govt of Karnataka (@nimmasuresh) June 26, 2020
Unlike the other students, he needs to sit on the floor and write the exam, "I feel comfortable sitting on the floor and writing exams and the school and education department gave me permission to do so. I have completed three papers so far including English, Maths and Science," he explains.
Before he could take the exams, he practised solving various questions papers. If you're wondering how he handles the diagrams in Science and maps in Geography, then you must know that Kaushik has an artistic side to him. These skills have come in handy during the exams. He says, "You name the competition and I am in it. I am into dance, yoga, swimming, clay modelling, sculpture, cycling etc. These skills have helped me maintain the flexibility of the body and mental stress during exams. It took a lot of perseverance and dedication to learn them but I did not give up. I have never felt bad for not having my hands but feel good that I take every possible option to do what I can."
Recently, Suresh Kumar S, Primary and Secondary Education Minister, who came across this picture of Kaushik posted it on his social media pages on Twitter and Facebook. The minister wrote, "My heartfelt wishes to this boy, Kaushik, who wrote his exam without anybody's help. Such people give meaning to life and break all kinds of stereotypes in our society."
Kaushik, who is yet to write the Sanskrit, Hindi and Social Science exams, is very happy about the minister putting up his picture on social media and encouraging him. "I hope to do better in the remaining exams and score good marks," he says.