Disability should no longer be a taboo. It is work, deeds and efforts that should be given importance and not disability. Every individual has a personality that is different. I am sure that you too have your own uniqueness, right?
Illustration by Anika Ghei
Even today, people talk about disability or disabled people in a hush-hush tone instead of cover sing about it openly. I strongly feel that we have to change this perspective towards disability. This perspective can be changed only if we would take a pledge to do so – we have to make this world inclusive. And the first step towards inclusion is ‘awareness’.
My Life in Brevity
I am a person with 75% vision impairment and suffering from severe Glaucoma. I underwent numerous eye surgeries at mere 3-4 years of age. Being a visually challenged female, I faced different challenges at every stage of my life. Up till class 8th, I attended a main-stream school along with my twin sister. My mother was a senior teacher at that school. Hence, they permitted me to sit in the class room and passed me in every class on the basis of oral test from a few chapters. When I was in eighth grade, they decided that I must leave the premises since they couldn’t arrange for facilities that would allow a visually challenged person to study any further in their school.
After that, I left the school and pursued my further studies from home. For about two years, I could study very little. I belong to a small city called Naya Nangal in Punjab, India, where there are no special schools or institutions for visually challenged persons. This was the time when I spent every day at home. I decided that I could not waste my time. Therefore, I started doing learning computer on my own. Time and again my brother and father would tell me to not operate the machine as I could break it but I didn’t pay much heed to what they said and constantly made efforts to learn the computer. Simultaneously, I was working on my English skills. Finally, in the year 2008, I appeared in class 10th examination (PSEB) as a private student and scored 80%. Furthermore, in 2010, I passed class 12th with 76% marks. I did graduation followed by an MA in English from Panjab University. As of today, I am a successful content writer in a private SEO and digital marketing firm, an RJ and Content Manager of an online radio station ‘Radio Udaan’, a Guitarist & Singer, a Blue Belt in Karate and finally, a Motivational Speaker.
But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep…Divya practicing her karate with utmost dedication
The journey was not a cakewalk; I faced innumerable discrimination at every step that I undertook shallow remarks from people and resources inaccessible to me. Throughout these years, I worked on myself constantly. Whether it is about talking with confidence, giving presentations on sensitization at various institutions for creating awareness, working on mobility, cooking or anything else; I am glad I worked on my overall personality.
Personality is Crucial
For anyone reading this, I would advise you to work on your personality. When I mention ‘Personality’, it includes everything – from your posture to speaking with confidence; work ethics to commitments; dressing style to hairdo and everything. Believe me, if you can present yourself confidently and dynamically, the world won’t dare to point out your disability.
I have seen people who are working in their fields but haven’t worked enough on their personality. They lack dressing sense, way of walking, confidence in talking, haven’t developed any interests, lack manners and most important their lives only revolve around their disabilities. Even if disability is a ‘part’ of your life, it doesn’t have to restrain your entire life.
5 Things My Visually Impaired & Disabled Readers Must Work On
There are endless possibilities of improvement and you can always learn and grow. But here, I would unroll 5 things you should definitely work on:
- Strengthen your communication skills
If you can win hearts and minds with your communication, people would fall for you. Communication is the tool that can earn you good friends and social position. If you are eloquent in your expression, people would love to be with you and listen to you. Yes, it is not about English or any other language, whatever language you use, whatever mode you adopt to express yourself – your communication should be crisp.
- Work on Your Confidence
Confidence is the key for anything. If you don’t have confidence, you cannot express yourself properly. Once you would talk about anything with confidence or do your tasks with confidence – you can experience great response. Whether you are an office goer, an unemployed person looking for a job, a student or anyone; your confidence should be your companion for life. You can diminish the negative effects of your disability only if your confidence is intact.
Divya is all smiles as Radio Udaan’s RJ
- Learn, Learn & Learn
It is not about bookish knowledge – it is about practical awareness. You have to learn everything and anything that you can learn. Here, it is not specifically about your profession or field; it is about learning things that can contribute in making your life more dignified, productive and effective. Be it a new show, a podcast, a seminar or a discussion with your elders or parents; everything has the potential to leave you more informed and learned. The more knowledgeable you are, the better you can be in life.
- Take Help – But Only When Needed
I am not bragging but would like to share that I have helped many people in my life through my shows, presentations and talks. If I would have thought that since I am visually challenged, I cannot help; I wouldn’t have been what I am today. The formula is simple: anyone can help others and taking help is not a shallow thing. The point I am trying to make is you should take help only when you find no solutions. Never develop a habit of taking help without trying it yourself first. Always do experiments and try your best and if you fail to get outcomes; then take help. Help is good but only when it is needed.
- Attitude and Behavior
How you behave or what your attitude is; these are the things that make a great impact on your life. You have to work on your attitude and behavior constantly. It would be ideal if you nurture your personality with positive and optimistic ingredients. Sometimes, we all get upset, negative and sad; but that does not mean that temporary phase would stay forever. We have to stride to be a positive person. Develop a positive attitude towards life and you can get through everything.
Well, to encapsulate, I have a lot more to share, but for now, it is more than enough to absorb. I am constantly working on making this world a better place for PWDs. If I can work on myself, You can too!
What Divya thinks of Drzya and Drzyashakti
Hi world, I am Divya Sharma. I came across this organisation recently and I am highly impressed with the efforts that they are putting in for making this world an inclusive place to live in. The platform is giving voice to people who have talent, have something to share, and can make a difference through their ideas. Drzya brings inspiration in the shape of performers, talented people and speakers. I am glad to know about this dynamic and expanding platform. Their purpose of spreading Entertainment, Education and Encouragement is enticing and engaging. It has something to cater to everyone from individuals, groups and teams to businesses and corporate world! I hope the platform goes strength-to-strength and gives wings to people at large. More power to the force behind this energetic platform!