JEE Main 2022 Toppers: On Monday, as soon as the JEE Main results were declared, Ojas Maheshwari, a resident of Andheri (East), emerged as the top ranker in the Persons with Disabilities (PWD) category. The 18-year-old teenager is no stranger to the Hall of Fame.
Ojas lost his hearing at the age of six to seven. A year later, he discovered his love for math and science. Thanks to the help of his mother Pooja, who is herself an Olympiad teacher, Ojas started preparing for various Olympiads, math and science exhibitions and competitions at the age of 8.
Today, the National Talent Search Examination (NTSE) scholar and top ranker of the Kishore Vaigyanik Protsahan Yojana (KYPY) collection of medals and trophies are so vast that his mother jokingly complains about buying a new wardrobe to accommodate him.
Ojas was not always an IIT aspirant, he shared. “He wanted to study astronomy because he was fascinated by it but at some point, he decided to switch. We have always been supportive because he always made the right choice.”
“I know people think I may be an idiot because I love studies, especially math and physics, and I spend a lot of time in them. But those who know me closely know that I like to hang out with friends and go out to dinner and I love football.”
With role models like Ojas Sundar Pichai and APJ Abdul Kalam, Ojas has inspired himself to do better from a young age. With his heart at IIT, he did not attend a regular junior college after topping 10th standard but joined Narayan Junior College, where he trained for competitive exams, studying for more than 10 hours a day used to do.
His disability, 70 percent hearing loss in both ears, is something he doesn’t like to lift much. However, he acknowledges that it created considerable obstacles, especially during the pandemic.
“It is difficult to explain how it disrupts the daily routine even if one gets used to it over time. But yes, some times are more prominent than others. Like after the pandemic when offline classes started, so everyone wore masks. From a young age, I try to avoid asking anyone to repeat things I can’t hear so I learned to lip-read. But lip reading was not possible as everyone was wearing a mask. Several times I requested teachers to remove masks while teaching in classes. But more difficult were peer discussions. ” he said.
“I would love to start my own company and create an innovative solution to a problem,” he said of his further plans.