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Veena Venugopal aspires to be India's first TV anchor in a wheelchair

June 6, 2019

An aspiring TV anchor, Veena Venugopal wants to use this powerful medium to touch the lives of others with disabilities. Read more about this young woman's plans to change the lives of the community.

For aspiring anchor Veena Venugopal, the inspiration to turn to television as a mode of communication comes from someone across the border. Veena looks up to well-known Pakistani disability rights activist Muniba Mazari as a role model. Mazari hosts TV shows and is a respected motivational speaker. Like her, Veena wants to explore the world.

Being in a wheelchair is no barrier for Veena. Iven her dedication and commitment, she looks all set to achieve her goal - to be the TV anchor in a wheelchair in India. She has been training herself to make her mark in the competitive industry.

Recently, I anchored for a Malayalam channel named Pravasi Vision. It was a great experience. Initially, I was scared to face the camera but the crew was really supportive and helpful. I want to take baby steps towards reaching my goal. - Veena Venugopal, Aspiring TV Anchor

Veena was diagnosed with muscular atrophy in class 8 and started using a wheelchair just a few years ago as she could move around initially. When she was told she would have to use a wheelchair, she was shattered initially but this plucky girl rallied around.

By the time I finished my studies, I had zero mobility and the neurologist said I would have to start using a wheelchair and that nothing could be done to improve my condition. Those words broke her spirit at first. Eventually, she decided to gather herself together and look at life anew.

A major source of support was Krishnakumar PS, motivational speaker and member of the NGO MIND, who has muscular atrophy and understood what she was feeling.

"He told me that disability is not the end of the tunnel and gave me the confidence to move ahead, she says.

Veena started looking at her wheelchair not as a barrier but as vital to her mobility. She started going out more and meeting people. The turnaround has come as a major relief for her family.

"As a mother, I will stand by her as long as she is happy doing what she loves, says Sanjivani Venugopal. "Now she is no longer depressed about her disability and all of us are feeling positive.

ALSO READ: 'Have a right to be out & about', says Sindhu, only wheelchair user to attend Kerala's Attukal Pongala festival

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