“He made us proud till the last moment,” said Mamata Sridhar, mother of 16-year-old Vinayak, who passed away midway through his Class 10 CBSE board exams, as his health worsened owing to muscular dystrophy.
The student of Noida’s Amity International School scored 100 in English, 97 in Home Science and 96 in Sanskrit. He passed away before he could appear for Computer Science and Social Studies.
“…he would have scored equally well in the other two papers he never got a chance to sit for,” Mamata told The Indian Express.
The Class 10 Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) examination results were announced on Monday, 6 May.
Topping the class 10 board exams, becoming an astronaut and taking a trip to Rameswaram were among some of the unfulfilled wishes of Vinayak, who suffered from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a genetic disorder characterised by progressive muscle degeneration and weakness.
At the age of two, Vinayak was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy after he was unable to sit or stand without support. Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy is caused due to the absence of dystrophin, a protein that helps keep muscle cells intact.
He was only 7 years old when he was bound to the wheelchair, and by the time he turned 13, he had to be fed by his parents. “His classmates were most helpful as they would open his tiffin box, pour water in the bottle cap as that’s all he could hold. A lot of them called us after they found out about his result,” said Mamatha from Rameshwaram in Tamil Nadu, where the couple went to honour their son’s post-exam holiday plans.
“Vinayak was a good quizzer, loved mythology and history. He was excited about his social studies exam. He would often speak to his teacher in Sanskrit, the language he was most drawn to,” Mamatha added.
"“He would always say I want to become an astronaut despite all the challenges and would say if Stephen Hawking could go to Oxford and make a name in Cosmology I can go to space too. He was confident that he will be among top rankers. We were always amazed with his confidence and would encourage him further.”" - Mamata Sridhar
On 26 March, after having breakfast when Vinayak’s father was bathing him, he lost consciousness, recounted Mamatha. He had died of cardiac arrest by the time the family could get him to the hospital.
However, Vinayak Sridhar is not the only one in his family to make his parents proud. His sister is an Indian Institute of Science (IISc) alumnus and is currently pursuing her Phd at the University of British Columbia on a fellowship.
While Vinayak's father is vice president in GMR, his mother is a home maker by choice.
"I made this choice. My entire day revolved around him. From brushing his teeth to feeding him, I did it all myself but it was his willpower which always gave us the strength," his mother said
(With inputs from The Indian Express, PTI)
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