At just 17 years old, the future looks bright for Tuhin Dey. The teen from Midnapore in West Bengal already has two national awards to his name, one which was bestowed by President Pranab Mukherjee, is currently waiting on his results from his Class 10 exams and has his sights set on getting into an IIT to become a cosmologist, like his role model Stephen Hawking.
And like his role model, Tuhin is also confined to a wheelchair and faces a life with a disability.
Tuhin has arthrogryposis multiplex congenita (AMC), a condition that causes joints to be stiff and crooked at birth. Children born with the condition have abnormal fibrosis of the muscle tissue causing muscle shortening, and therefore their joint movements are restricted.
But similar to Stephen Hawking, Tuhin is not allowing his condition to prevent him from following his dreams to become a world-renowned scientist in astrophysics, and he has already made some big strides towards making his dream a reality.
“I want to pursue my B.Tech from IIT Kharagpur followed by Masters form Oxford University. My biggest wish is to meet my hero Stephen Hawking one day,” Tuhin told the Times of India.
AMC does not affect a person’s brain so Tuhin has no problems with his studies. Dr Yash Gulati, senior consultant orthopaedic surgeon at Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, reported to Hindustan Times, “You need brain, not brawn, to get ahead in life. This congenital disease does not affect intelligence and as long as he can use a wheelchair to move and communicate, he will remain highly-functional.” Tuhin uses his mouth to write with his pen and his chin to operate other gadgets.
He was recently gifted a laptop and telescope by West Bengal-based Deenabandhu Trust to further assist him with his studies.
Tuhin is the pride and joy of his parents Sujata and Samiran who recently moved to Kota to help Tuhin prepare for his IIT exams. His father Samiran deals in real estate business whilst his mother Sujata gave up her job in the education department of the Central government to support her son full time.