Physical disability could not deter them from achieving their dream — a seat in one of the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT).
Shakil Ansari (18), a physically challenged boy from the little known Dand village of Katkamsandi block in Hazaribag district, has become a role model for several others. He has stood 51st among 170 students across India in the category of physically disabled students.
"After I passed out of Kamakhya Narayan High School, Ichak, I worked hard for over 12-14 hours every day.," Shakil said. He was only in Class X then. He went ahead and completed his Plus Two examinations from Ananda College in Hazaribagh in 2008 and then came to Ranchi for coaching.
Shakil cannot move around much because of polio and is happy with his achievement. "I am so happy. Despite all odds, he has done us proud," said Shakil's father, Md Asim Ansari, who is a shopkeeper. "We have to try and arrange the funds now."
Sonu Kumar, a colour-blind student from Dhanbad, also dared to dream he got an all-India rank of 56.
Son of a businessman from Dhanbad, Sonu started preparations two years ago. "I studied more than 14 hours a day to crack the exam," Sonu said.
He completed his schooling from Jhariaraj High School and after finishing his twelfth, began self-studies. He also took help from a coaching centre in Dhanbad.
Now, he has to think about a suitable stream. Like Sonu, Shakil, too, is confused. "Subjects like mechanical or electrical engineering may require a lot physical movement. I am thinking about IT," said the boy, who does not own a computer at home.