Young Voices campaigners from India overcome the odds to achieve outstanding exam results

Young Voices member from India Kartik Sawhney

Young Voices campaigner from India Kartik Sawhney almost didn’t get the opportunity to study science at school because of his visual impairment. The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) was not convinced Kartik would be able to handle the ‘visual inputs’ – graphs, diagrams and models – required for science. He wrote more than two dozen letters to the CBSE, had an NGO campaign and his school negotiate for him. He has proved all the efforts were worth it by scoring a 95% aggregate in science with computers and he is now off to Stanford University to study computer science.

Meanwhile, another Young Voices campaigner, Vibhu Sharma, became the first visually impaired student in India to write her Board exams with the help of JAWS screen-reading software. She passed her exams with flying colours, with an overall aggregate mark of 90%, and came top of the year in Multimedia and Web Technology. Young Voices have been campaigning tirelessly for over a year to make this happen. Vibhu went to the CBSE office several times, to give them a demo of how she used computer and explain how it made people who are visually impaired independent. Just two days before the Board Exams, the CBSE took a giant step forward by allowing all visually challenged students to use computers with JAWS, a major policy change and a great achievement for Young Voices.