#CelebratingGirlPower- Ghousiya Taj & Siddhija Ramesh Nair show how to celebrate life
Today on International girl child day, our series #CelebratingGirlPower features two young women who have beaten odds and broken stereotypes to choose their passion. These two girls show how to live life to the fullest. DRZYA, an organization that promotes arts amongst disabled people is being instrumental in opening up opportunities for these young women.
When you have a disability, more than people supporting you to follow your heart, there are many who holds you back. This can be your own family, relatives and friends. But 32-year-old Ghousiya Taj from Bengaluru and 20-year-old Siddhija Ramesh Nair from Thane chose to look at life with a positive outlook. At a young age, these women have sorted out their priorities and knows how to make the best out of life.
Ghousiya Taj’s journey to empowerment
Ghousiya Taj lives in garden city Bengaluru. When she was hardly eight months old, Ghousiya had a polio attack. Doctors told her parents that she had an hour to survive since only her neck was functioning. But from doctors writing her off, Ghousiya has now become a woman who chose her own path with dignity though only the upper part of her body functions.
Ghousiya is a model, dancer, singer, wheelchair basketball player and marathoner. She dons all these roles with ease and perfection. She uses calipers to walk and a wheelchair only when she plays. Ghousiya has represented Karnataka and won prizes too.
This young woman remembers her childhood days. Being in a non-inclusive school, she has faced problems especially when it came to accessibility. She has attended both special and normal schools. She tried to pursue an engineering course, but couldn’t complete it. “Other students were not accepting me and I went into depression. Moreover, I had to climb stairs to attend classes. Due to all this, I had to drop engineering”, says Ghousiya who later did a diploma in electronics and communication.
Soon after education, she started looking for jobs. Currently, Ghousiya works in the banking sector, something that she likes to do.
She has been passionate about music and dance since childhood. She recently got an opportunity from DRZYA to perform. Last February, she again had a polio attack which made her bed-ridden. “It was only after being part of DRZYA that I started to feel better because I could perform again”, says Ghousiya who sings and dances to her heart’s fill.
Siddhija Ramesh Nair, chasing her dreams always
Siddhija Ramesh Nair, 20 years old, is visually impaired. She lives with her parents and sibling, who also has a disability, in Thane. Till the age of two, Siddhija had eye sight. Her vision started to blur and she was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa. But she managed to complete her studies with the help of supportive teachers and friends. She used a scribe to write exams. In class 10, she scored an 82 percent and 89 percent in class 12!
Currently, this youngster is pursuing her B.Com and writing exams for chartered accountancy (CA) as well.
“Right from school, I had immense support to study. Officials tried and made study materials accessible for me. That is the reason I could score so well”, says Siddhija.
She hopes to finish all levels of CA and land a job of her choice. Covid pandemic and crisis has affected her studies.
Siddhija says that she has been passionate about music and dance since childhood. “I had learnt dance when I had vision. Then I discontinued due to vision loss”, says Siddhija who has won a national award for her performance from hockey player Dhanraj Pillay.
Currently, she is pursuing music. “I became part of DRZYA and got many opportunities. In fact, I dance with memories of what I have learnt in my past. I want to pursue a career in banking sector, but also wants to take art along with me throughout my life”, says Siddhija.
Watch in Sign Language
- #CelebratingGirlPower- Priya Ramakrishnan has dedicated her life to empowering women
woman sitting on a chair
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