Arya Rajeev with her parents
Kozhikode: Arya Rajeev was hell-bent on fulfilling her dreams of studying astrobiology and then becoming a scientist. Her physical limitations due to Cerebral Palsy were defeated by mental strength as Arya gained admission for the Integrated PG course at the Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research (IISER) in Thiruvananthapuram. Arya and her father Rajeev had earlier expressed Arya’s wish to study in IISER and requested help from the government through Mathrubhumi.com.
“After the five-year course at IISER, I want to go abroad and do research. I would be delighted to do the research program at NASA,” said Arya, sitting in her home in Athanikallu in Kozhikode. Although Arya had secured full A+ in 10th and 12th standards, there were a lot of hurdles along her way.
The requests put forward by Arya for attending the entrance exam was that she must be allowed extra time and that a scribe must be made available. Such facilities were not available before. The petition for this was filed via the District Legal Services Authority by adding the officials of IISER as party.
Following this, Arya was allotted an extra 30 minutes for every one hour. She also got permission to keep an equally qualified scribe. She cleared the entrance with the fifth rank in the differently-abled category at the national level.
Arya needs help for doing her daily chores and walking. She wants to be self-sufficient when she starts her science course. She has to undergo physiotherapy and occupational therapy for that. Although they consulted the specialists at Thrissur National Institute of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, the treatment was not possible there. They are planning to seek treatment at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) or Vellore.
The secretary of District Legal Services Authority, M P Shaijal, CRC Director Dr Roshan Bijili, ISRO former staff E K Kutty, and teacher Shajil helped in getting Arya the admission into IISER. She also received support from ULCCS.
Arya’s parents, K Rajeev and M K Pushpaja wish to ensure good treatment for her along with education. They hope that they will be able to find someone for Arya’s help when she goes to the IISER campus.