Bengaluru: “I don’t consider my daughter to be blind at all,” says Chaya, mother of 16-year-old Divya, who had no vision in her right eye and very little in the left at birth , being a premature baby.
But refusing to see it as a handicap, Chaya has battled to get her a normal education in a regular school and fill her with such confidence and hope that now Divya hopes to become a lawyer some day.
Divya’s loss of vision was diagnosed after she was born prematurely and put on incubator for one- and- a- half months. An eye clinic in Chennai recommended multiple surgeries, but the family abandoned the idea for several reasons.
Chaya was, however, determind to give her daughter the most normal life possible. “Nobody was willing to give her admission in a regular school and wherever we went she was told to go to a blind institute.
But my daughter is normal, so why a blind school? Her mental abilities also in no way suggested that I should send her off to a school for special children, so I remained firm,” adds Chaya.
On a doctor’s suggestion she took her daughter’s activity books and notes to an NGO working for the blind near Mysore Road , and it offered her all the support she needed in her struggle.
Finally , one regular school, Vanita Seva Mandir English School in Rajajinagar, accepted Divya and she has been studying there since kindergarten.
“I stood second in class VIII and have been in the top three all through my schooling ,” says a happy Divya, who recently underwent an eye surgery at the Sankara Eye Hospital and has relatively better vision in her left eye now.
Far from seeing her lack of vision as a hurdle, she says, “I want to become a successful lawyer some day.” While grateful to her school, the teenager is full of love and appreciation for her mother , who has been her rock through all her struggles . “I am really grateful to her as she has been my pillar of strength. I thank God for this awesome mother,” she says fervently.