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Visually-challenged becomes doctor

March 22, 2004 22:57 IST

Disallowed by All India Institute of Medical Sciences to take exams because of 'visual impairment', a doctor-aspirant made his dream come true by knocking on the doors of the National Human Rights Commission.

Anka Toppo graduated from the premier institute last week becoming perhaps the first 'blind' person to become a doctor.

But not before the examination procedure was amended and AIIMS began working out a methodology for similar cases in future, an NHRC spokesperson said in Delhi on Monday.

Toppo had been selected for admission in the MBBS course at AIIMS in 1989 and was to take his final examinations in 1993 when he developed problems in his eyes and became blind.

Denied permission to take the exam for want of approved guidelines by the Medical Council of India (MCI), Toppo approached the NHRC in May 2001.

Discussing the case with the AIIMS authorities, NHRC cited instances from other countries of people becoming doctors despite suffering from physical impairment. Eventually, the authorities agreed to amend the exam procedure.

Toppo's internship was also rearranged to suit his talents. He completed his internship early in 2004.

The NHRC has also asked the MCI to undertake a similar exercise to be in a position to deal with such cases in the future.

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