March 1, 2023
Few years back, I would not have imagined that I would get the opportunity to go to college. I was not sure about what I was going to do in the near future. It was all very blur for me. Even if I did think about joining college, I have no clue as to what I would choose as my course. It was all a distant dream for me. Being a hearing-impaired person, I always knew that students like Nitesh, Arpit and me did not have many opportunities in life compared to what a normal person/student would get. I would see many deaf children not being able to pursue their dreams, they would not get the opportunity to go to college as many colleges do not admit students with any shortcomings or disabilities, which is a harsh reality of the world we live in. Often students with hearing impairment leave school in the middle or don't continue studies beyond Sr. Secondary (class 12) because they think it's difficult for them to communicate with the normal world or make them understand something. Hence it's a waste of time to study further. We as hearing-impaired students think we don't match to the outside world as there is a lot of competition and we would be nowhere near to competing with normal students, which I completely agree with. Going to school and going to college were two different experience for me. I used to go to school made specially for deaf children but on the other hand, my college was like every other college in the world. It was made for normal students with no disabilities. When I joined college it was a challenge for me to balance myself in life and adjust in such an environment which was totally new for me. It was a task trying to communicate with people and make them understand your point of view. It's always been hard to understand and talk to people my whole life but going to college was the best decision that I took as it made me get rid of my insecurities and made me confident in who I was. My college made me feel the opposite of everything I had imagined college life would be. I never would have thought that college would prove to be such a blessing in my life. It changed my life for good and made me proud and confident in myself. iLEAD played a great role in making me feel confident and head strong. It made me realise that I could do anything I have ever wanted in my life. It helped me realise that I could be "ME" in this world and lead a life that I always deserved without having to change myself. After a lot thinking, I applied for B.Sc in Animation, Multimedia & Graphic Design. Not because it was an easy course compared to the many courses but because I was confident in it since childhood. I was always very fond of drawing and painting. Whenever I had free time, I used to sit back and draw for hours which led me to gaining perfection in it. And so, I knew what I had to pursue in college. I was worried about how I would communicate with my fellow classmates in college because of my hearing-impaired and thought it would create a problem for Nitesh Arpit and me in making friends and doing basic communication but luckily, iLEAD provided with such amazing and humble friends who not only came forward to be friends with me but also cared for me in every way possible. Even teachers and mentors took great interest in learning sign language so they could to talk to me and my two friends without any communication issues. They respect and accepted us with our disabilities. And never made us feel like we are different. They always made us feel like we are equal to them. In my everyday life, I try to do give my best in every situation that life throws at me. iLEAD pushed me toward my goals and my dream every day. It taught me the value of life and time. Although I m deaf by birth, iLEAD gave me utmost confidence in myself and everything I do. It gives me power to move towards my dreams and build a successful future for the betterment of myself. I would specially thank Kasturi ma'am and iLEAD for believing in us that we can do better just like any normal student and for accepting us. iLEAD gave me hope and set my mind to achieving my goal no matter what. After joining iLEAD I got so many opportunities and every day was a lesson. I learned a lot from being a student of iLEAD.