A rifle shooter, a cricket fan and a regular participant in Model United Nations (MUN), Prem Madhogaria is like any other teenager student. Well, almost. The Class X student of The Heritage School was born with a spinal anomaly that turned him into a wheelchair user from an early age but the odds against him didn’t stop the spirited boy from scoring 91 per cent marks in the ICSE 2022 examinations.
Prem was born with Spina Bifida Meningomyelocele. He underwent a major spinal surgery in August 2021, followed by a series of therapy sessions, and missed several classes during this period.
“For 26 days, doctors, nurses and other hospital staff took care of me and I cannot thank them enough,” Prem said. “My parents have been my pillars of my strength. I cannot thank them enough.”
“My son did quite well in the ICSE first semester exams that were held between November and December 2021 despite of being caught up in the therapy sessions and was not able to focus properly on his studies,” said Anita, Prem’s mother.
But Prem, the fighter, was not one to give up. Once he had recovered from the surgery, Prem started staying up nights to prepare for his second semester exams.
A student of The Heritage School since Class II, Prem has always had the support of teachers. “I used to study day and night right before the exams. I was determined to do well this time. Everyone is happy with my performance but I know I have to work harder for ISC,” said Prem who never took any tuitions and only concentrated on what was taught in school. At home, his mother and aunt helped him with some subjects and Prem managed the rest on his own.
Prem Madhogaria finished first in the 10m Peep Sight Air Rifle (Para) at the West Bengal State Rifle Shooting Championship held by Dharampur Rifle Club, Chinsurah, in 2018.Anita Madhogaria
“Prem’s school has been a pillar of strength for him. The teachers have always been very supportive whenever he has had to take breaks from regular classes. Everyone in school would give priority to his health and help him with necessary study materials,” Anita said.
An elder sibling to two brothers, Prem takes interest in rifle shooting, cricket and Model United Nations (MUN). He is a member of the North Calcutta Rifle Club, where he goes for practice every week. “He loves rifle shooting and cricket. He loves to watch all kinds of sports in his free time,” Anita said.
Prem enjoys the sun outside.Anita Madhogaria
Prem came first in the 10-metre Peep Sight Air Rifle (Para) category in the West Bengal Rifle Shooting Championship held by Dharampur Rifle Club, Chinsurah, in 2018. Prem also plays cricket on crutches and loves batting.
A sports enthusiast, Prem never misses any important cricket or football matches. Even when in hospital, he enjoys watching games on TV, if allowed by doctors. “I love watching cricket more than football and Virat Kohli is my favourite cricketer,” Prem said.
Prem has taken up Commerce in Plus II and wishes to study MBA after that.
“I can’t explain how happy we are as parents at Prem’s achievements. We learn patience, hard work and a lot of other life lessons from him every day,” Anita said.
The Heritage School headmistress Runa Chatterjee is proud of Prem’s achievements. “Prem is a smiling and resilient boy. This is the description that comes to my mind when I think of him. Never bowing down to his difficulties, he has matched his stride with everything with a steely grit and resolve. I am confident that he will be a Shining Star.”