Education August 4, 2020
Sky ain’t the limit for visually impaired Maitreya Shah
Maitreya Shah, 22 years old, lost his eye sight when he was hit by a cricket ball at the age of eleven. But a disability has not stopped him from dreaming big. A law graduate, Maitreya recently got through four of the top ten law universities in the USA for post-graduation in law. The journey of this youngster is truly inspiring.
A visual impairment is no barrier for Maitreya Shah to excel in what he does. This 22-year-old who recently graduated with a law degree from the Gujarat National Law University is looking to build a career in law. Someone who has been vocal about disability rights, Maitreya hopes that his knowledge about law can be used to work on disability rights. He recently got through for post-graduation in law at four of the top ten law schools in the United States of America (USA). His achievements are only getting bigger and better.
When Maitreya was eleven years old, he was hit by a cricket ball in the eye which left him permanently blind. He underwent depression for years until his parents, who are his role models and pillars of strength, decided to empower him. There was no turning back for Maitreya who started doing extremely well in academics and other activities under the guidance of his parents.
Maitreya attended a regular school and completed his class 12 in flying colors. He was the first blind student to join the Gujarat National Law University from where he passed out recently. Inside campus, Maitreya worked on creating inclusive spaces, accessible study materials and curriculum so that students with disabilities could be an equal part of the institution. His work for inclusion inside the campus will be remembered for years to come!
Being someone who has been vocal about disability rights, Maitreya hopes that his efforts can be put into full use for disabled communities across the world.
Even while studying at Gujarat National Law University, Maitreya has been trying to get admissions in post-graduation to the best universities in USA. He chose the country because the quality of education is extremely good there according to him.
This year was indeed special for him. He got through four of the top ten law schools in the USA for LLM. This includes University of Pennsylvania, which he has chosen, UC Berkeley, New York University and Georgetown. University of Pennsylvania is also an Ivey League and they gave him a Dean’s Merit Scholarship wherein he is the recipient of the highest award given by the university this year.
Maitreya is also the first blind person to have bagged the JN TATA Endowment grant, first blind person to have been selected as a PRS LAMP Fellow and first student of an Indian university to have been selected as a Foundry fellow for the Washington-based Internet Education Foundation. Gujarat National Law University recently featured Maitreya and his achievements on their Instagram page too.
“My classes at the University of Pennsylvania which I chose was supposed to begin now. But everything has now been changed due to Coronavirus pandemic. Since I do not want to take up online classes, I have postponed my trip to next year. Since I have a permanent residence visa in the USA, I did not have to undergo visa hassles”, says Maitreya.
A bright future
Maitreya hopes to work as an attorney in New York, which is a hub for international law and related activities. “It has always been part of the larger goal. By understanding international laws better, I get to work for a larger ambition too”, he adds.
Regardless of where he is located, Maitreya says that he will work for disability rights.
Though he is going to miss his parents, Maitreya is glad that he could make them proud. “It is because of my parents and their guidance that I could achieve so much. They are happy for me now but I know they will miss me when I’am gone to the USA. They have always supported me in academics and other activities too”, says Maitreya.
With big dreams and lots of hope, Maitreya is gearing up to fly to the USA to scale heights!
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