Karimpur , May 27: 17 year old Syamantak Sarkar of Karimpur in Nadia wants to become a teacher, but does not know how far he would succeed with his challenged physique.
In this small span of life with physical limitations, Symantak has understood that he is quite different from others.
A patient of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), which is a rare genetic disorder with progressive muscle degeneration and weakness, Symantak has passed this year’s Madhyamik Examination with 55% marks as a student of Karimpur Jagannath High School.
Son of a high school teacher, he has secured 60 in Bengali, 60 in English, 45 in Mathematics, 46 in Physical Science, 45 in Life Science, 52 in History and 65 in Geography.
Swagata Adhikary, head master of Jagannath High school said: “This is an extraordinary success story. I salute his impeccable mental strength and courage of this boy. A boy who for over a decade cannot walk, move or even sleep properly have scored over 55% is a big achivement”.
Syamantak was diagnosed DMD when he was aged 4. Ne cannot walk, cannot write, and cannot even move his hands properly. He appeared in the examination with the help of a writer. The board considering his physical condition allotted him 45minutes extra time to complete his papers.
“It was very shocking as we witnessed Syamantak gradually losing his physical strength and eventually he became incapable. Now he has become completely incapable and could not even move his hand if a mosquito bites him. But, his brain function remained normal”, said Symantak’s father Subrata Sarkar, a mathematics teacher.
According to doctors at Institute of Neurosciences – Kolkata, DMD is an extremely rare genetic disorder and found in one child of every 5000 newborn. The DMD is caused due to absence of dystrophin, a type of protein that helps keep body muscle cell unharmed”.
“In DMD loss of muscle occur first in upper legs and pelvis followed by upper parts of arms. This led to trouble in standing up. By the age of 12, patients lose capacity to walk”, a doctor said.
The disease is still incurable. Doctors say that the remedy is still at research level. Physical therapy, corrective surgery, stem cell therapy may reduce symptom for time being.
Syamantak had to stop going to school four years ago when he was reading at class 7.
“At 13, the disease engulfed his physique completely and made him completely paralytic. But it was his immense mental strength that forced him to attend classes with other boys of his age. But, as his pelvis became inactive he could not seat any longer. So school days suspended and he with the approval or the school started studies lying at home” said Sayamantak’s mother Sanchita, a homemaker.
The teachers were supportive who explained course chapters even over phone sometimes. “I am extremely grateful to them the way all the teachers and my parents helped me”, Syamantak said.
His father said Subrata Sarkar said: “sometimes we feel depressed as despite our best efforts there is little change in his condition. But he never feels dejected with life”.
Syamantak, however, refers to Ishaan Nandkishore Awasthi, the dyslexic child of Hindi film Taare Zameen Par. “The road never ends, if he can make it, I too can”, he said.