“I am privileged that I can speak and see properly, but this does not make me any superior to the people who can’t do this, they (Differently abled) are talented in their own way, I just help them to show their skills,” says N M Pushpa Preeya, who is a writer for differently abled people, told The Logical Indian.
Pushpa has been writing exams for more than ten years, not for herself but for the people who are suffering from any disability that prevents them from writing their exams.
Pushpa, who works in a software company, is now a well know exam scribe in Bangalore. She has scribed 681 exams till now, for different courses and subjects. She calls herself the ‘eye’, ‘hand’ and ‘ear’ of the people
“It all started a few years back, when my neighbour, who was working with an NGO asked me to write an exam for a 10th class girl with a visual disability. I did not think a lot then and said yes. The next day when the exam started, I understood the challenges of an exam writer. I thought I will not be able to do it again but see now, I am close to completing 1000 exams,” said Pushpa with a giggle.
Pushpa says that the problem she has faced in her initial education has helped her to stay motivated and do something for others. She told The Logical Indian that she was not able to give her class 7th exam as her father was unable to pay the school fee.
“We were financially very weak. My father was bed-ridden, and my mother was earning only Rs 500 a month. It was tough for her to even afford food and medicines bill of our family. That time my elder brother and I had to drop school for a year. Later the help came from one of our acquaintance, who was a polio patient. I am returning the favour by helping others now,” said Pushpa, who recently lost her father.
Pushpa, who did diploma in computers and her elder brother Mohan Kumar, are both working and are financially stable now.
A BTM Layout resident, Pushpa writes all these exams for free. When asked about how she finds time from her job schedule, she says, “The weekday’s exams are usually in mornings, so I take permission from my office to reach a little late and work extra time. On weekends, I work as a full-fledged exam writer,” said Pushpa.
She has scribed for a 6-year-old and even for a 60-year-old. Pushpa has also written exams for students with cerebral palsy and Down Syndrome.
She says, if someone wants to become a scribe he/she has to be very good with three things, patience, coordination and confidence.
“There were times when I had to repeat the question for more than 50 times, sometimes the child or the adult will take a sweet long time to answer the questions. I have picked up sign language also but still, working with people with cerebral palsy is little challenging,” she added.
She says she has to be very attentive while writing the answers as “it is a matter of their future”. She feels, it is her responsibility to be good at her work, otherwise “all their (students) study will go to waste”.
A solo traveller, Pushpa likes volunteer work. She has been volunteering for several NGOs which work for acid attack survivors and orphans. She also manages a Facebook page for the blood donors.
Her elder brother is proud of Pushpa’s work. “She is very friendly with people, and she has got a unique power to understand people. I just wanted her to do whatever she feels like,” he says while talking to The Logical Indian.