Saturday, December 06, 2008

A young man's success tells a story of courage as he is also visually impaired

25-year-old Vatsal Shah has been invited by many schools and other organisations in the city to hold motivational talks for people.

It takes courage to face the odds of life, and it takes dauntless determination to work around setbacks and help others to benefit from the same.

On International Volunteer Day on Friday, Newsline met some volunteers in Vadodara who have made it their mission to bring about a change, albeit ‘silently’.

When struggle and downfall pull one down, Vatsal Shah (25) lends a helping hand.

His only way of motivating is giving his own example. A brilliant student, an ace swimmer, a national skating champion, an MBA degree holder — he is all this and more, despite being visually impaired.

In his years of darkness, his confidence to face life along with its downfall has been a source of inspiration for many. He was invited by the Baroda Management Association (BMA) to inspire the young management students to fight the challenges of life.

“When the going gets tough, the tough gets going, that is what I told them, and that is exactly what I have faced in my life as well,” said Shah.

When, even the simplest of pressures in life put normal people off-track, Shah, with his determination and positive attitude towards life, sets an example for all.

“People generally ask about his blindness with a tinge of curiosity and pity. But once they listen to his struggle, they are left completely spellbound. With his friendly nature, he gets into a conversation with just anyone,” says his mother Sheela Shah.

He was invited by many schools and other organisations in the city to hold motivational talks for people. According to his parents, he tries to extend help in all possible ways. While learning advanced use of computer application for the visually impaired at the Blind People's Association, Ahmedabad, he came across others in his batch, who did not know what to do in life because of their lack of competence in English.

“While they felt that computer will help them earn a living, they lacked confidence because they felt the world doesn't appreciate people who do not know English,” says his mother.

Just half a week into the new course, Shah has a tough schedule now. He learns Braille and computer software during the day and then teaches English to his batch mates at night. “I started off with grammar and tense. They seem to enjoy it thoroughly,” says Shah.


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