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Visually Impaired but Dreams Big

Visually Impaired but Dreams Big
 

Ashish Jha had to take the help of a reader and writer to take his engineering exams. Vikram Dalmia had to struggle to convince his parents that he was capable of running the family business.

Jha and Dalmia are visually impaired but that hasn’t stopped them from achieving their dreams.

“When I was studying in BP Poddar College, I had to ask my friends or my mother to draw engineering diagrams on my hand so that I could understand them. It was hard but I managed,” said Jha, who lost his sight to retinitis pigmentosa. He is now an IT security specialist with IBM.

Jha was one of the speakers at a seminar recently organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) on employability and job opportunities for the visually impaired. The platform enabled corporates to interact with the visually impaired and create employment for them.

Dilip Loyalka, the first visually impaired chartered accountant in India, shared his story at the meet. Having lost his sight right after birth, the proprietor of J. Loyalka and Company believes that it is the brain that matters more than the eye.

Another braveheart, Mohammad Asif Iqbal, is working on “performance improvement” at PricewaterhouseCoopers. He has taken it upon himself to motivate others like him to rise beyond their disability. Asif uses JAWS software that enables him to read a document or prepare a presentation without help.

“We are not looking for people’s sympathy. We just want an opportunity to prove ourselves,” said Asif.

Vikas Das, an employee of the State Bank of India, suffered retinal detachment and had to give up his position as branch manager in the State Bank of Travancore, Baroda. He was out of job for two years before he was offered a position in the training centre of SBI Guwahati.

“I can do everything that people who can see can and I refuse to feel depressed about my condition,” said Das, who has been recently promoted to chief manager.

The CII has commissioned a survey on employability and job opportunities for the visually impaired.

“The idea was to build a bridge between the corporates, who are job givers, and visually impaired people so that there is awareness about what they can achieve,” said Mala Banerjee, the president of the Welfare Society for the Blind.

DILIP Loyalka, Vikram Dalmia, Vikas Das and Mohammad Asif Iqbal have had to struggle against all odds to get due recognition – their crime being visually impaired.

CHANDREYEE CHATTERJEE for
[The Telegaph India]

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