Stepping closer to her dream, Veena Venugopal hosts her first TV show
Veena Venugopal, a wheelchair user from Kerala was diagnosed with muscular atrophy. Veena always aspired to become a TV anchor. Last Onam was truly special to her as she got the chance to realise her dreams. Veena hosted the show ‘Vellinakshatrangal’ that was aired on Malayalam channel Goodness TV where all the six guests were people with disabilities who are achievers.
When Veena Venugopal was diagnosed with muscular atrophy while studying in class 8, she did not realise how a disability is going to change her life. A few years later, Veena started using a wheelchair. The first few months were hard for her, and she went into depression. But Veena gathered together all the broken pieces to build a new life and chase her passion of becoming a TV anchor. Last Onam was special for Veena as she could realise her dreams. This youngster hosted her first TV show and Veena cannot hide her excitement while talking about her dream come true.
Her show Vellinakshatrangal was aired on Malayalam channel Goodness TV. By hosting the show, Veena becomes one of the first wheelchair TV anchors in India. The show was even more special because all the guests were people with disabilities who are achievers. In this chit chat show, Veena and the other guests talked and discussed about various things related to the disabled community.
Goodness TV has an exclusive show for disabled people called Kanalvazhikal. Veena was the guest for one of the episodes and that is how the team decided to give her a call to host their Onam special show.
I’am thrilled and cannot express my happiness in words. Goodness TV programme director Johns sir gave me a call after watching the episode of ‘Kanalvazhikal’. In the show, I had expressed my desire to become a wheelchair anchor. There were six guests at the show and we had an interactive session-Veena Venugopal.
Veena had prior experience of hosting a show for Malayalam channel Pravasi Vision for which she anchored a few episodes. “Initially, I was tensed. But the programme crew gave me confidence to go ahead. My prior experience with Pravasi Vision also helped me gain confidence to face the camera for ‘Vellinakshatrangal’. The show was for over 30 minutes and I did preparations in my own ways”, says Veena.
The success of her first TV show has opened doors of opportunities for Veena. People who watched her on-screen are calling and congratulating her. “A woman who has a daughter with a disability called me after watching my show. Her daughter draws and paints beautifully, but the mother did not know how to support her. She never thought a disabled person can achieve anything. When she told me that watching my show has given her confidence to stand by her daughter to chase her dreams, I felt so happy”, adds Veena.
A few TV channels are in talks with Veena to host their shows. “I have already stepped into my dream. Most people think that having a disability is a full stop to dreams and aspirations. But a miracle can happen anytime. So just keep working towards your dreams. I want to change the way society looks at wheelchair users, and I hope I can achieve that”, says Veena.
Pakistani disability rights activist Muniba Mazari is Veena’s idol and inspiration. A few weeks back, Mazari shared a story about Veena on her social media. “That was one of the best moments of my life which is unforgettable”, Veena says.
“All of us had a great time participating in the show hosted by Veena. Moreover, I’am glad that I could be a part of her dream coming true. The confidence and ease with which she does her shows is remarkable”, says Anjurani Joy, a wheelchair user who was one amongst the guests for ‘Vellinakshatrangal’.