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Inspired by Abdul Kalam, This 18-Year-Old With Severe Disabilities Is a Step Closer to Her IIT Dream

Ranked 2,072 across India under the PwD (Persons with Disabilities) category during JEE Mains, Rachna is now set to appear for JEE Advanced.

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Rachna Chaudhary is not unlike tens of thousands of students in India right now. The 18-year-old who has already cleared the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) Mains, is all set to take the JEE Advanced on May 21. She’s hoping that she will be able to clear the final hurdle to get into one of the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT).

What makes Rachna truly extraordinary is the the fact she is 70% disabled.

Image for representation. Photo source: Flickr

The young woman prepared for her exams in spite of having stunted fingers and toes, and while battling a lung infection. Speaking to Hindustan Times, the teenager spoke about her condition noting, “As I don’t have fully developed fingers and thumb in both hands since my birth, I write examinations adjusting the pen between the underdeveloped thumb and index finger of my left hand.”

She adds, “Due to lack of fingers,” I cannot even tie my hairs and hold heavy things, but the dream to crack JEE inspired me to pursue studies.”

Apart from being disabled, Rachna also comes from an extremely humble background; her mother, who is the sole breadwinner of the family earns ₹10,000 in a month. Her father has been bedridden for years due to a psychiatric condition and she also has two brothers, one of whom is afflicted by cerebral palsy.


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But Rachna has never given up on her dream. Working hard, she ranked 2,072 across India under the PwD (Persons with Disabilities) category, qualifying to the next level of examinations. An ardent fan of former Indian president Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, she has her heart set on becoming an engineer and is ready to give the test her very best shot. Hopefully on May 21, this extraordinary girl will be able to fulfill her aspirations.

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