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Despite lack of vision, IIMs in sight

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    Gaganbir Singh (TOI Photo)

    AHMEDABAD: The Common Admission Test (CAT) is a tough nut to crack for the most experienced and studious. For Gaganbir Singh, it may have been a shade more difficult because he was differently abled. He prepared for CAT with the help of someone who read the material aloud to him and dictated the answers to a writer.

    Singh, 21, who has 15-20 per cent vision impairment, scored 92.63 percentile in CAT and confirmed admission calls from three Indian Institutes of Management (IIM), Bangalore, Calcutta and Kozhikode. "This has been my biggest achievement and it has been possible only because of my mother, Harinder Kaur," said Singh, who lost his mother last year.

    Born and brought up in Ahmedabad, Singh completed his schooling from St Xavier's Mirzapur, and BCom from HL Institute of Commerce. Singh suffers from Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP), which is a genetic eye condition in which the patient gradually loses eyesight with age. Singh's eyesight has frozen at 15-20 per cent. Singh cannot drive, write or read by himself, but there was no stopping him when it came to cracking the CAT.

    "It was my mother's dream that I get through one of the IIMs and be independent. I know I have been able to bag these admissions only because of her prayers and blessings," said Singh.

    Talking of the days he was preparing for CAT, he said, "When I first entered coaching centres, I was denied admission. I insisted that they should at least test me if nothing else. In the first session, when the instructor started the class I was the only one who could answer the questions. It was later that I was called by the instructor, who told me that I could stay."

    This confident youth does not think he lacks anything and believes he can be as or even more competent a professional than many others. "I always keep company with students who are weak. Since someone has to read aloud everything to me, it is a win-win situation for both. It's revision for them and what I understand, I explain to them."

    Singh says his younger sister, Hareen and his businessman father Gurinder are very proud of him. "With this, I have defeated my critics, who have been there at every step of my life," he said. With his head held high and a smile of satisfaction.
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