Mumbai boy makes it to IIM-Lucknow despite his ailments

Lucknow: He fought competition, cerebral palsy, dyslexia and dysarthria to crack CAT-2019 with 92.5 per cent marks.

Yash Avadesh Gandhi, 21, is now a student of IIM-Lucknow and has been attending online classes from his home in Mumbai for the past one month.

“I face problems with numbers. So, I had to put in extra effort, particularly in the quantitative ability section. It was tough, but not impossible,” he said in an interview to a local daily.

The hard work

Yash needed a writer to take the written examinations. He has difficulty in walking but still travels on local trains in Mumbai. He speaks with a slur but conveys his thoughts and emotions with clarity.

His story is inspirational, to put it rather mildly.

Yash had started preparing for CAT in July 2018, when he was still in the second year of his graduation.

His hard work paid off and after clearing the CAT, he got interview calls from several IIMs, including Kozhikode and Indore, but he chose Lucknow because it is ranked higher.

He was admitted to IIM-Lucknow under the persons with disabilities quota for the academic session 2020-22.

The support despite his ailments

Yash has cerebral palsy, dyslexia and dysarthria, a condition that weakens the muscles needed to speak.

Yash’s parents have expectedly been his main support system.

“When he joined the school, he faced difficulty in learning and was not able to compete with his peers. But he picked up gradually. He has always had to work harder than normal children,” Avadhesh Gandhi, his father, who works in a private firm.

He said that while studying for CAT, there came a point when Yash was so depressed that he almost decided to give up.

“I told him that he has the capability to do anything and should not stop making an effort. After this, Yash started all over again,” said his mother Jignasha, who works as a supervisor in a kitchen where midday meals are cooked.

The young man has a special place in his heart for his mentor and “spiritual brother”, Harshit Hindocha.

“Yash’s success is a perfect story of grit and commitment. He remains calm and composed even in the most trying circumstances, he never gives up. Even when I exempted him from taking notes due to his writing issues, he would always jot down points,” Harshit said.

Yash did his graduation from Mithibai College in Mumbai with accounting and finance and ranked among the top five.