Education August 8, 2020
These disabled student achievers from Goa have their future carved out
Nympha Fernandes and Dielle D Silva are making their home state Goa proud. Nympha is 100% visually impaired and Dielle has cerebral palsy. Both girls overcame many challenges, including the sudden coronavirus lockdown, to perform well in their class 10 board exams. Find out how they did it.
The way Nympha Fernandes approached her class 10 board exams is rather interesting and unique. This 16-year-old from Benaulim, Goa has a passion for singing and approached the exams like a singing competition!
“I looked at the final exams and the preparation leading up to it like a singing competition. I looked at the prelims as rehearsals and the board exam like the final competition. That gave me the confidence to take the exam”, says Nympha who is 100% visually impaired.
Nympha scored 73.3% in the exams and says she would have got 80% if the coronavirus pandemic had not put things out of gear. “The lockdown was unexpected, and we thought exams would be postponed or cancelled so there was utter confusion was for us”.
Nympha was 11 when she moved out of home to stay at the National Association for Blind (NAB) in Santa Cruz to attend school. She plans to take up arts and wanted to study in Mumbai but the coronavirus pandemic has changed plans.
“I was looking forward to moving to Mumbai to study class 11 and 12 but my parents are worried after the coronavirus pandemic and want me to stay here”. Nympha wants to become a historian.
In class five, I read a chapter called Walls tell Stories in my history textbook which had stories about Qutab Shahi Sultan in Telangana. I was fascinated to read about ancient forts and monuments. That sparked my interest in history and since then I wanted to become a historian. – Nympha Fernandes, Visually impaired student
Nympha says her mother is her biggest inspiration because “she has always supported my hobbies and interests and found ways to encourage me”.
Career plans mapped out
Delia D Silva, 21, is the other newsmaker from Goa who has won praise for her board exam results. Delia has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair. Delia scored 84% and her performance was noticed by many including opposition leader Digambar Kamat who celebrated her achievement on social media.
Delia was diagnosed with cerebral palsy when she was a year old. “She cannot stand by herself and uses a wheelchair”, says her mother Andrea D Silva. Her family received support from the Perpetual Succour Convent High School in Navelim which sent a teacher to her home. She also received sponsorship from the NGO Children’s Palliative Care.
During her studies, Delia discovered Photoshop and wants to explore this further. “Going to college will be hard for Delia given the mobility challenges and it is better if she acquires vocational skills”, says Andrea. “This was she can also make a living through these skills. I am looking for teachers who can come home and train her”.
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