Rashmi Suresh Patil believes that if given a chance, disabled people can prove themselves
23-year-old Rashmi Suresh Patil from Mumbai was diagnosed with hearing impairment when she was hardly one year old. Rashmi’s path to empowerment is inspiring as she has crossed many hurdles. Rashmi, who is a dancer and model, is currently pursuing a course in Nitya Yoga.
Nothing is impossible for 23-year-old Rashmi Suresh Patil from Mumbai who was diagnosed with a hearing impairment. A dancer, model and cook, Rashmi juggles roles with ease. She has all the support from her family comprising of parents and younger brother Jatin who has autism. Together, they are a team that believes in overcoming any obstacles ahead of them. After all these years, Rashmi has learnt to make the best out of life.
Diagnosis of a hearing impairment
Rashmi’s mother Archana Suresh Patil is her strongest pillar of support. Archana has always stood by both her children to ensure that they get nothing lesser than the best. Being the eldest child, Archana and Suresh excitedly welcomed Rashmi to their lives. It was when she was around eight months old that Archana started noticing how Rashmi did not respond to sounds.
Once, there was a huge noise near our house and Rashmi did not respond to that. She was asleep, so I had my doubts. But I did not want to think of the worst because there was no children with disability in our family. We took her to an ENT specialist who said that some children might take time to respond to sounds. It was soon after her first birthday that we diagnosed her with a hearing impairment- Archana Patil, Rashmi’s mother.
By the age of two, Rashmi started wearing hearing aids. She was able to lip read and hence learnt to speak, thanks to her two years training at the Central School for the Deaf in Mumbai.
Rashmi was in a regular school since class 1, though she did have some difficulties coping up with other children and teachers who were unaware about inclusion in schools. But Archana was determined to help both her children with disabilities. She completed a parent guidance course that helped her work along with Rashmi and Jatin. “I did not have to take them to therapists because I could reach out and help them after completion of the course”, she says.
Path to empowerment
Rashmi had attempted to pursue a degree course, but had to discontinue in between due to certain health conditions. So she is currently pursuing her diploma in Nritya Yoga from an open university. Her exams have been postponed due to the Coronavirus crisis and lockdown.
Archana remembers that Rashmi loved dancing since a very young age. In spite of a hearing impairment, moving to dance steps gave her immense joy. Her parents introduced her to dance and this youngster has even won a national level championship! Rashmi also completed six dance exams with distinction and did an advanced course for two years as well. Rashmi has also been teaching dance at her institute.
She was invited as a guest to the ‘All India Artists Association’ annual event in Shimla last year. In years to come, Rashmi hopes to concentrate on dance and even build a career in it.
Her tryst with modelling began a couple of years ago. Rashmi has participated in three beauty pageants and brought home laurels too.
This youngster who is in love with cooking has been experimenting with dishes during the lockdown period. Her mother says that the entire family fell in love with her unique delicacies. Moreover, Rashmi manages all the household work too.
She has also been making hand-made jewelry since the past five years and has clients from across the globe.
Archana believes in giving her children opportunities. “I was always sure that they will come out in flying colors and they did”, she says. For Rashmi, a determination is what matters the most. “Given a chance, we can prove ourselves”, she says.
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