An eye opener

Prasanna Udipikar
Published on: 14th June 2014
Lecturing on Dr.David Herbert - the first visually challenged doctor, I concluded that considering physical disability as a hurdle to achieve one's goal is a myth. Determination complimented by unlimited effort and undeterred passion are the needed ingredients to make life sweet and meaningful. Dr. Herbert though blind had a passion to study medicine and the goal to become a doctor. His aim in life was to rehabilitate people with psychiatric problems. Perseverance is needed to steer life to reach the set goal. Vision in life is more important than the sight. "I can... I will... I must" should be your words... "Dream big"...

Listening attentively in the class of eighty was Shilpa -- a visually challenged student. I could see a confident smile on her face. I was sure my words had ignited a new hope in her... her confidence was kindled... 'nothing is impossible' she had felt. Her aim in life was to pursue her studies in commerce and computer science and join the corporate world by picking up a job in any of the leading multinational company.... she had big dreams of pacing up with the current trend...

Shilpa scored First class in II PUC and joined commerce stream for degree with a spirit to excel academically and with a dream of getting selected in one of the campus interviews conducted by the MNC's . But the path was not smooth... hurdles were too atmosphere, new friends, new method of teaching, semester system, illiterate parents, poverty... the list of problems was perennial...she was lost in the maze of problems...she was all at sea !!!
an eye opener, trust
A haggard Shilpa approached me one day and said "Madam, there is no God... I want to give up," she cried relentlessly... rather vehemently. I tried to console her by recalling incidents from the life of Dr. Herbert and advised not to deter from pursuing her aim. Dismissing my words she said that Dr. Herbert's parents were rich, educated and his teachers helped him...Ah! she had challenged the teacher in blindfolded was I? Shilpa was blind by birth.... Had I adopted blindness to the problems of my students? Visually impaired Shilpa was an eye opener to her teacher... Like Chenna who had unveiled the problems of life to Siddhartha, Shilpa had enlightened her teacher about the problems of students like her...she had alerted the teacher's role and responsibility in the success of a student. I held her hand and assured her that she too has a teacher with concern for her. Feeling guilty I walked home with a heavy heart, thinking of the different ways that I could assist Shilpa...

Lines from Robert Frost's poem echoed in my ears:

"The woods are lovely ,dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go, before I sleep.
And miles to go, before I sleep."

My guilt was so forceful that I ventured into recording my voice and prepared audio cassettes for all the subjects needed by Shilpa. My gift of cassettes bloomed a smile on her face and her keenness in listening to the cassettes left me flabbergasted. After her exams she called me and said in a confident voice, "Ma'am there is God!".
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