“Find the courage to follow your dreams”- My Take by Anandhi Viswanathan
Anandhi Viswanathan from Bengaluru is visually impaired. But this youngster juggles roles with ease. Over the years, she has been instrumental in empowering many persons with disabilities by being part of NGO’s and other organisations. Currently, she is the President of the Rotary Bangalore, Abilities. Anandhi is also a Pranic healer who runs her own centre at home. Anandhi, who is a disabled young woman, has emerged successful through hard-work and determination.
I was brought up in Mumbai. When I was 23 years old, I was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa due to which I have a visual impairment. It was a shock for me. I was doing my under-graduation in Chemistry during that time. In fact, my course was about to finish but I had to discontinue my studies because couldn’t use the laboratory equipment’s.
I was undoubtedly traumatized. It was not easy for me to come out of that. But the period of recovery was short for me. I was young at that time and brimming with energy. I did not want to sit at home. I started to begin a new life. My parents and brother stood by me through those hard times. They were supportive and gave me many options. I started to push myself to do better things in life.
Life after a disability
Since I couldn’t pursue my studies in Chemistry, I had to look out for something else. I did both under and post-graduation in English literature. When I was 25 years old, I got introduced to doing computer with JAWS. It was a screen reading software for visually impaired people. Soon, I started working in a university at Mumbai where I taught computer courses to other visually impaired people in government jobs.
Later, I went on to work with a leading corporate company. My next one was working with a public relations agency where I was a part of for over three years.
Slowly I became independent. I could live life fully and I started enjoying all that I did.
New beginnings after a disability
I got married and moved to Bengaluru. I started studying disability research at The Centre for Internet and Society. I co-authored a book National Compendium of Laws, Policies, Programmes for Persons with Disabilities. I continued my studies here itself.
I was closely associated with a few NGO’s including Snehankit in Mumbai that provides scribes and readers to students with disabilities. I was Bengaluru coordinator for Retina India as well.
Currently, I’am the President of Rotary Bangalore, Abilities. This is the first rotary club in the world with a special focus on persons with disabilities.
I’am a trained Pranic healer. I run my own centre at home. I have been doing this since the year 2003. It is fun and exciting.
My biggest fulfilling role is that of being a mother. I only have the support of my husband. So I have to manage my four year old daughter all for myself. Right from picking her and dropping her off to school and taking care of her daily things, I do it all on my own.
“I have never given up in life. I want to live my life just like how everyone else does. Find courage to follow your dreams”.
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