His fingers stiffen if he writes for too long. His speed for writing is also comparatively slow and his hands begin to shake after a while. Walking is also not easy for him and takes effort. He has had many struggles, the least of all is the difference in his physical abilities.
Praveen TS, who has cerebral palsy, has emerged as the topper of MA in Communications at the CMR Centre for Media Studies in Bengaluru.
A specially-abled child in today’s fast scenario has to work and struggle a lot. Even though people recognize and try and ease the ways in which individual interactions take place, they, as a collective, have never been kept in mind in creation, conception or modification of the ‘normal’ structures, a space that we live in, a space where we feed, a space that gives and takes and a space that requires certain prerequisites if you wish to enjoy it.
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“I studied in a special school up to the 7th standard. All my friends were special, and I never felt out of place. It’s only when I joined a mainstream school that I realized how difficult the world is for a disabled person. Everything – from buildings to the education system itself – is designed for able-bodied persons.”
– Praveen to The Times of India
If that is not discouraging enough, then people’s nonchalant attitude can be. People sometimes do not recognize the special needs of people like Praveen. He often needed more time to write in his work, his hands did not allow him to write faster, his handwriting was not very neat because his hands shook, and people did not understand it. His teachers and professors did not understand him. The system did not understand him.
However, Praveen found a scribe, albeit not without struggle, and as mentioned above, aced his exams. He was one of the 168 gold medalists at the Bangalore University convocation.
As for the future, he wishes to open a school where the entire system, including the infrastructure, will be designed to cater to special children too. Both special children and regular students will be treated as equals, without any discrimination.
Now there’s a changemaker.