Tuhin Dey has always been a class topper. While his 10th board results are yet to be declared, he is confident of scoring a perfect 10 CGPA and hopes to pursue B Tech from the prestigious IIT Kharagpur one day.
What sets the 17-year-old apart, however, is that he forges ahead in chasing his dreams despite being confined to a wheelchair, unable to move, write with a pen or type on a computer.
Hailing from Medinipur in West Bengal, Tuhin was diagnosed at birth with cerebral palsy and arthrogryposis multiplex congenita, a disorder that affects the joints and limits flexibility.
But for the teen, who has undergone at least 20 surgeries, the condition was an obstacle like any other to be overcome.
As extraordinary as it may seem, Tuhin taught himself to fix a pen between his jaws and now writes as efficiently as any other student in his class. When on the computer, he uses his lips to operate the keyboard.
“I have been operating a computer for last seven years and I am now going to master programming in C, C++, Java, and HTML languages,” a proud Tuhin says.
What is exceptional is that he has so far refrained from availing any additional facility granted to differently-abled students while taking exams.
Like his classmates, he has chosen to write his answers on his own. “I can appoint a writer for myself but I don’t,” he says.
Tuhin studied at the Central School in the IIT-Kharagpur campus till class 9, after which his family moved here.
The astronomy lover has enrolled in a private coaching institute here to crack the IIT entrance examination, a stepping stone for his dream of becoming the “next Stephen Hawking”.
After pursuing B Tech in Computer Science from IIT Kharagpur, he wishes to go to Oxford University for research.
Tuhin was awarded the Best Creative Child Award (2012) and Exceptional Achievement Award (2013) by Government of India. The awards were conferred by President Pranab Mukherjee. He has also received several accolades from the government of West Bengal and is a scholar of the National Council of Educational Research and Training.
Meanwhile, his parents have left no stone unturned for their son’s treatment.
“He has undergone at least 20 surgeries in various hospitals of Kolkata and other cities,” says his father Sameran Dey who is a property dealer.