THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: It was a proud moment for Tiffany Brar when President Ram Nath Kovind mentioned her capabilities in his speech at Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi on Sunday. Ms Brar, who is 100 percent visually impaired, was in New Delhi to receive the ‘Best Role model’ award during the 'National Award for Divyangjan, 2017 event organised on the occasion of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. She has been urging the authorities to make ‘accessible currency’ for visually impaired people like her.
The national awards were organised by the department of empowerment of PWDs (Divyangjan) under the Union social justice and empowerment ministry. The Thiruvananthapuram native runs ‘Jyothirgamaya’, her own social project for the visually impaired where she has accommodated six students from the weaker sections, including four girls here, which is run mostly on good Samaritans' funding. The President recalled her efforts, and she was caught off guard.
The female compere while introducing her said the founder and director of Jyothirgamaya is 100 percent visually impaired and is providing training in computer access technology, mobility and communicative English amid thunderous applause. She was helped by an aide to reach the dais to receive the award from the President. She got a certificate and a shield. “Despite being 100 percent physically challenged, Tiffany has been participating in skydiving, paragliding, cycling etc. since her childhood. She has attained knowledge of a number of languages in her childhood, and now she is part of a number of social initiatives”, said Kovind.
This is the second prestigious award the 26-year-old is winning this year with the previous one being the ‘bold and the beautiful’ award from Doordarshan. Two other visually impaired social activists, Bengaluru native S. K. Paul Kumar and New Delhi native Dr Jyothsnaphanija Bolla also shared the best role model award. “I am elated in winning the prestigious national award for the best role model among the visually impaired category. I always keep saying that disability is not a hindrance to reach the sky”, said Tiffany. She said the new banknotes of Rs 2000, Rs 500, Rs 200 and Rs 50 are of similar sizes making a visually impaired person difficult to distinguish.