Sucharu Gupta

Getting our number from Just Dial, Sucharu Gupta called us in March, 2013. She is 32 years old and has a B.Tech in Electronics and Communication, as well as a Post Graduate Diploma in Embedded Systems. She has also worked with a software development firm.

A loving mother and wife, Sucharu had quit her job after conceiving her first baby and was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa in 2005. She called the Eyeway Helpdesk when, while juggling marriage, a child, her own intellectual and professional needs and a degenerative eye-condition, she was not satisfied with her quality of life. She thought living a fuller life with vision impairment was a task she could handle, with some direction and information.

As the Helpdesk engaged with Sucharu, we glimpsed a dynamic woman who was trying to curb the psychological effects of a degenerative retinal disorder, and facing broader mobility and orientation issues as well as a need to productively use her time.

Within a few calls Sucharu voiced many diverse and basic doubts and queries. Issues of low-vision consultancy, functional vision, recognition of RP related characteristics, rehabilitation to use computers and tablets with the help of assistive devices, and how to get a disability certificate. Since the Helpdesk deals with such questions routinely, we realized what Sucharu was looking for was information. She was not relying on anybody for help; she wanted information to be able to help herself. With the onset of her vision deterioration, she wanted to look past her impairment and empower herself to go about her duties and interests without any emotional, physical and intellectual barriers.

We quickly realized that Sucharu’s immediate need was to make productive use of her time.

The Helpdesk connected Sucharu with individuals who are living with the same eye-condition, she was provided information about computers and other basic IT courses at Saksham Daksh. We also told her about different online web forums, talking book and audio book facilities, and screen readers and their functions. Sucharu had reservations about using a cane. She did not want her family or anybody else to brand her as ‘Vision Impaired’.

We followed up with her after she had joined a computer course at Saksham Daksh. She now carries a cane and feels that it is symbolic of the fact that she is low-vision and can walk on her own. As he grows up, she also wants her son to know that even though his mother is low-vision, that does not change or take away from who she is. They live, they celebrate, and individually Sucharu is as strong and courageous a woman and a mother as can be.