Visually impaired Arundhati dismantling disability stigma and breaking the glass ceiling
By Anubha Jain | Published: November 21, 2023 04:19 PM 2023-11-21T16:19:34+5:30 2023-11-21T16:20:25+5:30
A visually impaired freelance journalist, content creator, author, and singer, 33-year-old Arundhati Nath with her audacity gave a new ...
A visually impaired freelance journalist, content creator, author, and singer, 33-year-old Arundhati Nath with her audacity gave a new meaning and wings to her life. Arundhati has 25% vision in her left eye and no vision in her other eye. As per medical terms, she has bilateral congenital cataracts in both eyes by birth. Low vision with six eye surgeries and 90% vision impairment, Arundhati can read with a very close view. She can’t read signboards or car number plates from even a meter’s distance. Despite all these obstacles she has written for international media viz., BBC’s The Guardian, CNN, Al Jazeera, etc., and newspapers like Hindu, Mint Lounge, Outlook Traveller, and various other Indian publications. Grew up in an inclusive environment she gives coaching and consultation to freelance writers.
A Commerce graduate Arundhati joined a leading public sector bank as an associate in 2010. Though the job had an inclusive supportive environment for people with disabilities but always had the desire to write, 2017 Arundhati left her job. She wrote an article somewhere in 2017 about a nonprofit organization “Mitra Jyoti” based in Bengaluru which works for people with disabilities. While candidly talking with me, Arundhati said, "In 2022 after so much reluctance for the first time I travelled alone to a new city Bengaluru from my hometown Guwahati." She did a three-month residential training program at “Mitra Jyoti” to learn mobility techniques, independent living skills, the use of screen reading software, and training in mobility using the white cane. Arundhati said, “I have to depend on senses like hearing and touch while using the white cane. I use the white cane to unfamiliar places or on uneven surfaces. With daily practice, my awkwardness and fear have reduced, and I have started walking and doing other chores alone now. The cane symbolizes independence, freedom to travel, and adventure to me."Discussing her journey she said, “Until at the age of 18, I didn’t feel that it was a barrier or couldn’t even realize that I had a disability. I found it as an illness that I had to live with. I went to a regular school and had a supportive environment.” Good in studies Arundhati scored 92% marks in the board exams. She said, “From manual reading and writing, now, I am gradually shifting to audiobooks, podcasts, and Google Docs where I use voice to text.” Trained in Indian classical music, Arundhati wants to unleash herself as a singer too.In the end, Arundhati said, “Travel opens up our minds and helps us to connect with new cultures, and people. No barrier should hold us back from exploring our planet which is meant for the disabled as well. I remember how delighted I was when of course with a trainer's support, I scuba-dived at North Bay Island in the Andamans in 2015. But now I am planning for my first solo international trip to Japan and Hong Kong next year.”Open in app