Ojas Maheshwari has never asked for any special facilities and he doesn’t like to be put into a special category. But when the JEE Advanced 2022 results were announced on September 11, Ojas was invariably put into a special category—that of top rankers nationwide.
In fact, so confident was the Mumbai resident from Andheri East and his family of topping in his category—Persons with Disabilities (PwD)—that they reached a day prior to Hyderabad, where his coaching centre is headquartered. A band was kept waiting for the announcement. As soon as the results were announced, the troupe of dhol and tasha started playing a celebratory song.
For the family, the biggest news was not that their son had topped in his category, but that he had bagged All India Rank 26 in the general category.
“We were confident that his ranking in the PwD category would be in the top rankers but we were keener about his general ranking. My son has proved his mettle. He has created history today by being first amongst the PwD category to be ranked at 26 in the general category,” said his mother Pooja, an Olympiad teacher.
In August, Ojas had topped the JEE mains in the PwD category.
Ojas was only around seven years old when he lost his hearing. He suffers from a 70 percent hearing loss in both ears, but he doesn’t like to brood on it. Idolising Sundar Pichai and APJ Abdul Kalam, Ojas pushed himself to do better from a young age. He discovered his love for maths and science. With help from his mother, he started preparing for and entering various Olympiads, maths and science exhibitions and competitions from the age of eight.
Despite Mathematics and Physics as his best pals, the teenager is far from being a nerd. He loves socializing, and going out on dinners with friends; and he absolutely loves football.
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