Pushpa has also scribed exams for students with cerebral palsy and Down Syndrome, and she does not charge students for her service.Think Change India
Remember going to the exam hall? The butterflies in your stomach, sweaty palms, and feverish prayers that the questions be easy – then the post exam stress of how well you’d score!
Most of us write our exams out of compulsion and, well, because we don’t really have a choice. Now think of someone who has braved the exam stress over 10 years, writing a whopping 681 exams, and all of it willingly. That is NM Pushpa Preeya for you - an exam scribe from Bengaluru, who was awarded the Nari Shakti Puraskar this year.
India is home to over 40 million visually impaired people, and many of these need a bit of help when pursuing the education of their choice.
Speaking to The Logical Indian, Pushpa said,
I am privileged that I can speak and see properly, but this does not make me any superior to the people who can’t do this, they (the differently-abled) are talented in their own way, I just help them to show their skills.
Be it SSLC, PUC, Engineering, Law, UG and PG candidates, BESCOM, postal and banking jobs, Pushpa has ‘written’ all these exams for visually impaired students, and she refuses to charge any of the students for it.
Her first assignment scribing was for 19-year-old student in 2007. Talking to New Indian Express on her experience, she said,
Her name was Hema. My friend who runs an NGO referred her to me as she could not arrange anybody at the last moment. During the exam, I found it difficult to understand what she was saying. But later, I did a little research and found out about how they read, write, and communicate.
Then there was no stopping her. Pushpa met a few students, borrowed and studied their textbooks, and even recorded notes for them. And she proudly says that so far, most of the students she has scribed for have passed their examinations with good marks, and many even have jobs now.
Pushpa says she understands the value of education as she herself was unable to give her exams in the seventh grade as her father couldn’t pay her school fees.
“We were financially very weak. My father was bed-ridden, and my mother was earning only Rs 500 a month. It was tough for her to even afford food and medicines for our family. That time, my elder brother and I had to drop out of school for a year. Later, an acquaintance, who was a polio patient, helped us. I am returning the favour by helping others now,” The Logical Indian reported her as saying.
Pushpa holds a diploma in computer studies and she and her elder brother are both financially stable. Pushpa says there are times when she has to scribe exams on weekdays and for that, she takes special permission from her office to reach a little late, but she always covers up by working extra time.
From a six-year-old to a 60-year-old, Pushpa has written exams for students of all ages and also those with cerebral palsy and Down Syndrome.