I was born totally blind in my left eye and having about 25% vision in my right one. It is this 25% vision that helps me function much better than I could have if I were totally blind. Of course, I have to keep turning my head a lot in order to see what I want and sometimes this frequent movement of my head and squinting is scary for children and those who are not used to it.
My parents never discouraged me from doing anything that sighted children do. They sometimes took this to the extreme. For example, they allowed me to ride a bicycle on the main road several times. I was sent to a mainstream school and could read and study by keeping my nose just an inch from the book or computer.
I fared well in my Secondary School Certificate exams and went on to St. Avila’s College. Using the little sight that I had along with the assistance of a reader and writer, I cleared the graduate exams majoring in Psychology. Then came the all-important question; career. What are the careers that are available for a woman who is nearly blind?
There are several options available for those in developed countries but in developing countries like India, the scope of jobs for the visually impaired is less. Now, don’t get me wrong. There are several blind people in India who have made it big and are holding top positions but on the other hand, there are some whose only income is obtained from begging on railway platforms and in trains.
I finally settled on being a counsellor and did a short term counselling course. I see about five to six counselees a day and charge them a nominal fee of hundred rupees. As I work from home, my overheads are low and I make about fifteen to eighteen thousand rupees per month. A good month would even bring in twenty two thousand. Although it takes me quite a lot of time, I manage to maintain my own schedule and type out my own reports as hiring an assistant would be too expensive and nobody works for free.
I enjoy going grocery shopping or even travelling. Reading, writing and hanging out with friends are other hobbies of mine. I am extremely satisfied with my life and career despite the visual limitations.
All rights belong to its author. It was published on e-Stories.org by demand of Ulrica Dias.
Published on e-Stories.org on 03/24/2012.