Meet Maharaja's College rank holder who never attended lecture halls

TS Dhanya

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When her mother gave birth to her, doctors predicted that Lakshmi only had days to live. She was born with cerebral palsy, unable to walk and had to rely on her wheelchair for mobility. Despite facing odds, she has secured first rank in B.A. Malayalam from Maharaja's College, with a record-breaking score. However, she achieved this remarkable feat without attending college in person, instead relying on her peers and teaching staff.

Lakshmi secured 3282 marks out of 3300, a rare feat in its own regard. For her, this is a psychological victory over her underlying health conditions.

Classmates Liji Krishna, Jaseela Thasnim, and Anagha J. Castor were her study partners. Whenever they had a class, Jaseela would record it on her phone, and other classmates would share her notes. To prepare for the exam, Lakshmi discussed and studied with her peers through Google Meet or a conference call. Aishwarya Sunil, a neighbour who also went to the same college, would lend Lakshmi her notes. The professors also helped her by narrating and explaining the lessons. And to write the exam, she got the help of a scribe.

Her exam schedule was quite hectic but also interesting. She used to study from morning 6:00 to 12:30 at night. No matter how late she slept, she would wake up at 3:00 in the morning. However, this routine did take a toll on her daily life after the exam. On the last exam day, she arrived at the college looking exhausted and sick.

Dr. Sumijoy Oliappuram, the Head of the Malayalam Department, expressed immense joy over Lakshmi's remarkable achievement, acknowledging her relentless dedication and hard work despite facing challenging circumstances.

Lakshmi was born with an enlarged head, webbed fingers (syndactyly), and several other health problems, recalled her father, Nettur Vadasseriparampil Sivaprasad, and her mother, Rajani. She grew up confronting the fear of death every single day.

Like her cousins and other kids, Lakshmi always wanted to go to school. Hence, she joined first grade at the age of seven despite facing many difficulties. She struggled to walk, and her father or mother had to carry her to school. After she grew up, she started travelling by auto. It was under Dr A. A. John's treatment that she could walk, at least with the help of someone.

She had also secured 90 per cent marks in the 10th standard. And in 12th, she scored 902 marks out of 1200. She wishes to take a Master’s degree in Malayalam from the same college itself.

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