Confidence is inevitable

18-year-old Shreya (name changed) hails from a small town called Kalady in Ernakulam district, Kerala. They are a small family of four, struggling financially. They live by the fishing job of her father and the daily-wage labor of her mother. Shreya and her brother are visually impaired since birth. Shreya suffers from a condition called Nystagmus which is an involuntary movement of the eyes that causes loss of vision and depth perception.

Neither the low income, physical impairment of the children or the absence of essentials in the house have deterred her parents or Shreya to lose hope. Both the children are pursuing education and Shreya is an excellent student, topping in most of her exams in school. Her brother who is also visually impaired is pursuing higher education after finishing school. Shreya was referred to Eyeway by the doctors of Little Flower Hospital, Angamaly. When she approached Eyeway in April 2018, she was awaiting her class 12 exam results. She was very confident of successful results, thus she wanted to know how she can achieve her ambition of becoming a teacher while battling the gradual vision loss. She has lost about 40% of her vision so far and it’s slowly deteriorating further. She wants to make the best of her remaining eye-sight and wants to achieve success in life.

She is a very ambitious and she has a specific timeline in her mind to reach her goals, which she shared with the counselor. She was expecting the counselor to give her a career plan where she can manage a job in the teaching profession within the next five or six years. After discussing with Shreya the multiple opportunities available and the diverse ways to achieve it, the counselor helped her understand how to work towards achieving her dream career. The counselor informed her about choosing a subject for specialization, an area of interest, preparing for entrance exams, various colleges offering different courses, employment-related exams, and various internet domains to gather timely information from. He also shared with Shreya the need to learn computer and various assistive technologies for the future.

Shreya was looking for some assurance that her losing eyesight won’t come in the middle of her determination to succeed. The fact that Shreya never gave up on her dreams even in the midst of all adversities is commendable. When many give up in the face of such challenges, Shreya exemplifies courage as a visually impaired teenager. This open-mindedness also helped the counselor to successfully instill confidence in her. She awaits the beginning of a bright future while she waits for her higher secondary exam results.