PUNE: Chinmaya Sahoo studied for his standard XII CBSE examination and IIT JEE using a special magnifying glass. He cannot see with one eye, while the other is 40% impaired.

Chinmaya, a student of Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya in Pipale Jagtap near Shirur in Pune district, who scored an impressive 95.4% in his standard XII examination, also stood first in country in the OBC non-creamy layer person with disability category in the IIT (Advanced) exam conducted on May 24. The results were announced by the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay on Wednesday.

The teenager, who overcame extreme poverty, was among 800 students from Pune who had qualified for the IIT entrance test. His father, a primary class teacher in a government school in Odisha, barely earns Rs 54,000 annually and looks after a family of four.

Chinmaya, who spoke to TOI on Wednesday from Odisha, said he did not know his marks as yet. “My hopes have increased with this rank. I now want to do either mechanical or computer science engineering. Earlier, I had almost made up my mind for electrical engineering, but I can hope for a better branch now.”

He will decide on the IIT once the marks are announced, but would prefer Bhubaneswar which is close to his village. “I will be able to meet my family often if I am studying there. My father’s dream has been fulfilled. He always encouraged me to study well and get a seat in an IIT,” he added.

His school principal, B A Maindarge, heaped praise on Chinmaya. “Besides being sincere and academically strong, he has a great approach to life and good communication skills. He developed a rapport with all the teachers,” he said.

Chinmaya would come to Ruby Hall Clinic in Pune every month for a check-up facilitated by the school and accompanied by a teacher.