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Look up and claim your share of happiness

March 8, 2015

“Your daughter does not participate in class. She does not do the course work and refuses to answer when asked a question by the teacher.”

Six-year old Preeti sat with a sullen as her class teacher complained to her parents. But deep inside, she was scared that nobody would understand if she explained what she was going through.

Two months and many medical tests later, it was discovered that she was fast approaching visual impairment.


Her parents were shattered. “What do we do now?” they asked each other. “Are there any special school for the blind here in Agartala?”

At the end, they decided to bring up Preeti just like any other child. Her mother learnt techniques of explaining things to her, often by closing her own eyes and experiencing the darkness her daughter was going through. However, not everyone understood. Preeti was thrown out of her school in class VIII and could not find enrollment in any other. Her formal education came to a standstill.


Like all young women, Preeti longed for companionship. She dreamt of a loving husband and naughty children. She wanted to fill her life with love, laughter and happiness. Her wish was granted when she married a man she had met and thought was wonderful. But by the time, she realised the costly mistake she had made, she was a mother of two. She was trapped in a rocky, loveless marriage.


But Preeti is not the one to get bogged down by the adversities of life. She set aside the fact that she was only a class X pass, visually impaired with no particular skill and began to train to be an aerobic instructor. After struggling for over a year, she started her own classes and for the first time, tasted sweet independence! She walked out of her marriage with her two children and began to live life on her own terms.


Soon, she joined the National Association for the Blind as a computer teacher and then moved on to a role of marketing and sales manager with a company. Here, she finally met the man of her dreams and married him. She got an offer to join Dr Shroff’s Charity Eye Hospital as head of public relations and began to work in the domain of trauma care. She was still only a class X pass! She even started her own NGO Silver Linings to empower underprivileged women, especially those with disability, advise other NGOs and became a corporate trainer!


Last year on this day i.e. International Women’s Day, I attended an event by Bizdivas Foundation where Preeti Monga was a speaker. I had never seen or listened to a more positive person than her. With her radiant smile and anecdotes of her own life, she made all of us realise that while life may throw a blanket of darkness over us from time to time but it is we who always have the power to come out from its underneath.

Check out Housing, which aspires to bring optimism to the world.

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