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Visually-challenged Tiffany Brar has big vision (IANS Special Series)

IANS  |  Thiruvananthapuram 

In a world where visually-impaired people are considered dependent on others, Tiffany Brar, 30, who lost her sight at birth, leads by example and has made the lives of hundreds of visually-challenged people more meaningful by training them for jobs.

Driven to empower and skill the visually-challenged people, Kerala-based started a non-profit organisation (Sanskrit for 'leading to light'), which started a mobile blind school in 2012. The rights activist says there are about 400,000 visually-challenged people in Kerala, who through proper interventions can be empowered to make their own living.

"There is no need to segregate visually-challenged people, when it comes to jobs. They can do most jobs like others. What's needed is to train them in soft skills and computers and increase the chances of their employability," told IANS here.

She conducts short-term courses for visually-impaired in batches of six-seven students. Her organisation has trained over 200 people through camps and 1,100 through residential empowerment programme.

Brar's own life is defined by persistence and extraordinary courage. Born in Chennai, where her father, an from Punjab, was posted. She lost her sight at birth due to overdose of oxygen.

Her father's posting took her to Britain, where she started her schooling. At 12, she lost her mother. She later studied in and Darjeeling. Despite little specialised training for visually-challenged, she passed 12th class with flying colours, finished college and took up work. She then did B.Ed. in special education (visual impairment) from

Since the setting up of Jyothirgamaya, has travelled quite a bit -- not just within the country but across the world. Brar always thinks about several things that she has to do and how to strengthen her organisation.

"Our motto is 'empowering the visually-challenged'. We conduct several training sessions to equip them to get a job," said Brar. The private sector, especially the IT companies in Kerala, should come forward to employ trained visually-challenged people, she said and added, a few had come forward and we wish more to join.

When floods hit in August 2018, she went around collecting relief materials for camps.

Several awards have come her way. In November, she won the 19th (NCPEDP)'s Award. In 2017, she received the National Award for being the 'best role model' from the

"I have a long way to go and am determined to empower the visually-challenged," said Brar.

(The feature series is part of a positive-journalism project of IANS and the Sanu can be contacted at



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, June 09 2019. 16:32 IST