In their voices is surprise. Devika and her parents do not seem to think she has done anything extraordinary by scoring A+ in all subjects for her 10th grade exams this year. That Devika from Malappuram, Kerala, has written all her exams with her feet might have shocked an outsider but to the family, it is an everyday affair. That’s how Devika, born without hands, has always written.
“It’s been like that since birth,” says Devika’s dad Sajeev, a senior civil police officer in Thenhipalam police station, Malappuram. Only a day ago, Devika was felicitated by Kerala Police Chief Lokanath Behera. It is her will power and mental strength that helped her to succeed, he said, while honouring Devika.
She's an average student, say her modest parents. It is Sujitha, the homemaker mother, who got Devika to hold the pencil between her feet and learn the alphabet, when she was ready to join school. “Teachers at her school helped too, of course. They have all come to visit her after the results were out,” says Sujitha.
Devika can write in Malayalam, English and Hindi. She finished her 10th standard from the Chandan Brothers Higher Secondary School in Vallikunnu, and has now chosen Humanities for Class XI.
“I like Social Studies,” says Devika, who has very little to speak about her achievements. She likes to sing a little, Sujitha offers.
The SSLC results came earlier this month and Kerala secured an impressive pass percentage of 98.11, a 0.27 per cent increase from the pass percentage last year. In a way, it seems right that Devika’s parents do not make her grades such a big deal in a state where a father recently assaulted his son with a shovel for scoring A+ in all the subjects but one.