Twenty-one-year-old Yash Avadesh Gandhi from Mumbai is now a student of IIM Lucknow, attending online classes from home. But he has had it tougher than most other students in the premier management institute. Yash battled cerebral palsy, dyslexia and dysarthria to clear CAT 2019 with an incredible 92.5% marks.
He has difficulty in walking, speaking, writing and numbers, and yet he beat out lakhs of candidates to clear the all-India management entrance exam to get admitted to IIM Lucknow under the persons with disabilities quota for the academic session 2020-22.
Yash graduated from Mithibai College in Mumbai with accounting and finance and ranked among the top five. He started preparing from CAT from his second year in college, in July 2018.
When he was able to clear CAT, he got calls from several IIMs, including Kozhikode and Indore, but chose Lucknow because of its higher rank.
Problems faced in daily life
“I face problems with numbers. So, I had to put in extra effort, particularly in the quantitative ability section. It was tough, but not impossible,” he said to a local daily, as IANS reported.
Even though he has problems in walking, he talks the Mumbai local trains.
Since he has dysarthria, which wakens the muscles for speech, he speaks with a slur, but is able to clearly convey his emotion and thoughts to others.
He even needed a writer for the written CAT exam.
Parents are main support system
For someone who has these many health conditions, it is expected that parents would form a primary support system. The same was the case for Yash.
His mother and father motivated him to come this far and achieve what he has today.
“When he joined the school, he faced difficulty in learning and was not able to compete with his peers. But he picked up gradually. He has always had to work harder than normal children,” said Yash’s father Avadhesh Gandhi, who works in a private firm, to IANS.
While studying for CAT, Yash faced learning difficulties and almost gave up, he said.
“I told him that he has the capability to do anything and should not stop making an effort. After this, Yash started all over again,” said Yash’s mother Jignasha, who works as a supervisor in a midday meal kitchen.
Harshit Hindocha, Yash’s mentor and “spiritual brother” is very special to him.
“Yash’s success is a perfect story of grit and commitment. He remains calm and composed even in the most trying circumstances, he never gives up,” Harshit told IANS.
“Even when I exempted him from taking notes due to his writing issues, he would always jot down points,” he said.
Such stories of young people battling all odds to further their education are inspiring indeed.