Sunday, August 30, 2009

Deaf, but distinction no bar

Source Link - Deaf, but distinction no bar

While for many engineering students clearing the four years without an ATKT is a dream, Sagar Patil, a 24-year-old hearing-impaired student from Father Agnel College, Bandra, achieved the feat with ease.

Patil, who is suffering from profound deafness, scored 77% (distinction) in final-year university exams. "I was determined to score well. Some colleges were of the opinion that I shouldn't be opting for engineering with my defect. I wanted to prove them wrong," said Patil, who is also suffering from a minor speech disability. A Prabhadevi resident, he has a hearing defect since birth, and went to a special school in Dadar. He was the second highest scorer in the city under the handicap category in SSC exams, which he passed with 84%.

He was always interested in engineering and hence took admission in a four-year diploma course at VJTI, Matunga. He understood some of the concepts by lip reading his professors. Taking notes and tallying them later with those of his friends also helped him a lot, feels his mother Nutan.

Sagar believed in self-study and refused to go to coaching classes. "Sagar was never satisfied with anything he achieved. After his diploma, he wanted to get a degree as well.

So he took admission in the second-year Bachelor of Engineering course at Father Agnel's, and now after scoring 77%, he wants to do his masters abroad," said his mother.
To help her son, Nutan had took a course in teaching hearing-impaired students when Sagar was in school. She was even planning to take up a job in teaching, but gave up the idea as she wanted her son to study well.

Since the Patil family cannot afford his higher studies, Sagar has planned to work for two years. However, this effort is not without its hurdles, as he has had to face discrimination from prospective employers. "Noting his performance in class, many employers who came for campus placements used to shortlist his name. But during interviews, he was rejected. It frustrated him a lot, but he recovered after a leading firm appointed him as a trainee," said Nutan.

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