Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur’s student Pratish Dutta 23 has proved that eyes are not required to see, one can see through his mind, he received the Professor Jagadish Chandra Bose Memorial Gold Medal from President Pranab Mukherjee. Pratish was awarded for the best academic performance among outgoing students of the M.Sc courses in the science disciplines at the IIT. He is from the department of mathematics.
Pratish was six months old when doctors told his parents that he had ‘retinoschesis’ , in which the layers inside the retina gradually get separated from each other, eventually leading to total blindness. By Class VIII, he had to use high-powered magnifying glasses to study.
“His mother would read out his lessons to him,” said Pratish’s father Prabir Datta. “All the credit goes to his mother. He even ranked second in the country in GATE this year. We feel so proud. My boy is no different… Rather, he has proved better than many,” Datta said.
It was in his second year at St Xavier’s College that he lost his sight completely. Ranjana turned a full-time reader for her son and when he cracked IIT-JEE , she moved to Kharagpur with him. Pratish and his mother live in a rented apartment on the IIT-Kgp campus. “We received a lot of help from people . His IIT teachers and classmates were very kind. At St Xavier’s , College they would print question papers on A3 sheets for him,” Ranjana said.
Pratish has begun his PhD in cryptology and network technology at IIT.