Vinayak Sreedhar, who idolised Stephen Hawking, scored nearly 100 in three subjects he appeared for during the CBSE 10 examination and passed away in March before he could write the remaining two. He scored 100 in English, 96 in Science and 97 in Sanskrit and could not appear for Computer Science and Social Studies.
Topping the class 10 board exams, becoming an astronaut and a trip to Rameswaram will are among the unfulfilled wishes of Sreedhar, who was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy when he was two-years-old. Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a genetic disorder characterised by progressive muscle degeneration and weakness. It is caused due to the absence of dystrophin, a protein that helps keep muscle cells intact.
The results for the class 10 Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) examination were announced on Monday. The Amity International School, Noida, student appeared for the exams under the general category and not the Children With Special Need (CWSN) category. “His muscular movement was very limited. He could write slowly but since there is a time duration for exams he used a scribe to write English and Science exam. For Sanskrit, he insisted to write himself. His body movement was restricted and he was wheelchair-bound, but his mind was very sharp and aspirations very high,” Mamta Sreedhar, his mother, told PTI.
“He would always say I want to become an astronaut despite all the challenges and would say if Stephen Hawkings could go to Oxford and make a name in Cosmology I can go to space too. He was confident that he will be among top rankers. We were always amazed with his confidence and would encourage him further,” she added.
Legendary British theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking also suffered from a motor neurone disease. Sreedhar had plans to visit Rameswaram temple near Kanyakumari, after his exams were over.
“We are today in Rameshwaram and are going for darshan in the evening. It was his unfulfilled wish so we decided to not postpone the plans and do it for him,” his mother said. However, Vinayak Sreedhar is not the only one in his family to make his parents proud. His sister is an Indian Institute of Science (IISc) alumnus and is currently pursuing her Phd at the University of British Columbia on a fellowship.
While Vinayak’s father is vice president in GMR, his mother is a home maker by choice. “I made this choice. My entire day revolved around him. From brushing his teeth to feeding him, I did it all myself but it was his willpower which always gave us the strength,” his mother said.