Pune, Mar 6 (PTI) In a first, a 21-year-old deaf, mute and visually impaired student of a Navi Mumbai-based special institute will appear for SSC (class X) examination, beginning tomorrow.

The exam is conducted by the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE).

Saurabh Chougule, the student of Helen Keller Institute for Deaf and Deafblind, has been preparing for the examination at the institute for the last three years.

He will appear for his first paper on March 14 with the help of an interpreter and a writer.

“We approached the SSC board in Pune and put forth the request seeking permission to allow Saurabh to appear for the board exam and we are happy that board has accepted our plea.

Now, the dream of Saurabh to appear for class X board exam will be fulfilled,” Education Coordinator at the institute Devyani Hadkar told PTI.

This is the first time that a student who is deaf, mute and visually impaired, will appear for SSC examination.

“When we approached the board chairman, we sought permission to issue question paper to Saurabh in braille.

However, the Board while citing lack of requisite infrastructure and facility for brail, gave us the option of using an interpreter and writer,” she said.

Hadkar explained a tactile sign language is used to communicate with persons like Saurabh.

“Such persons can understand things and one has to hold the person’s hand and while doing some signs, make them understand the things. We are going to use the same method during the examination in which an interpreter will read the question and communicate with Saurabh through tactile sign language,” she informed.

Hadkar said Saurabh will also respond in the tactile sign language, following which the interpreter will recite the answer to the writer.

Given his aptitude for vocational courses, Saurabh will appear for subjects like Bakery Products, Milk Products, Marathi (third language), Social Science, Mathematics, Information & Technology and Science.

The Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE) chairman Gangadhar Mhamane said this is the first time that such a student will attempt the examination.

“We have provided all the facilities to Saurabh at the examination centre and he will get one hour extra to solve the paper,” he said.

Saurabh, who hails from Sangli, will appear for the examination in one of the centres in Ghansoli.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.