17-year-old Ghaziabad resident, Bhumika Raghav suffers from spinal muscle atrophy (SMA), a locomotive disorder, which prevents her from walking without support. Bhumika has always wanted to pursue her passion for sketching and achieve success in the field. Her spirits remained unbroken even when schools refused her admission to class 11 due to her disability. Bhumika continued her studies at home. “I had studied since class 1 at St Mary’s Christian School near my house and all classes were on the ground floor. But when I got promoted to class 11, the classes were being held on the second floor, which posed a problem for me as I had trouble climbing the stairs,” Bhumika told Hindustan Times.
Bhumika’s mother, Bhawna Raghav said that, they tried to convince the school authorities to shift the classes downstairs, but, in vain. Eventually, Bhumika dropped out of school and continued her studies at home. “She has a fighting spirit. She started working very hard in order to show everyone that she does not need a proper school to achieve success. She passed her class 12 with 70% marks in the commerce stream,” said Bhawna.
With a clear career path in her mind, Bhumika took coaching classes to refine her sketching skills and applied for admission to the top design institutes of India. A true fighter, Bhumika cleared entrance exams of National Institute of Design (NID) in Vijayawada, Undergraduate Common Entrance Examination (UCEED) for Design conducted by Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay and National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), Delhi.
“After clearing all three entrances, Bhumika had the option of going to NID Vijayawada, IIT Bombay, Guwahati and Jabalpur and NIFT in Delhi. We chose NIFT in Hauz Khas, Delhi, since we wanted to keep her close to home because of her condition,” said Bhumika’s mother.
Bhumika has chosen to stay at the girls’ hostel as she wants to become independent and self-sufficient. “We have taken a huge risk by allowing our daughter to stay in the hostel. We still don’t know if she will be able to live alone. She stays with us every weekend and we hope that she adjusts well in the new environment,” said Ajay Raghav, Bhumika’s engineer father.
Bhumika has opted for fashion communication at NIFT as she thinks it will be helpful for her because it involves minimal use of tools. “A medical board at the college cleared me for fashion communication though that was my choice since the beginning. Here, I will be taught visual merchandising, exhibition and display design, graphic design, fashion journalism, styling and photography. I believe I have good job opportunities in this field and am excited to start college from July 29,” Bhumika said.