January 11, 2006.
NewKerala.com - Ernakulam,Kerala,India.
Nagpur: A gifted but determined blind girl in Nagpur may never see what appears on the television screen, but she has become India's first blind television newscaster and is now looking forward to scaling new heights.
At 21, Amruta Bhople is a television newscaster with BCN, a local news channel in Nagpur. The channel had organised auditions for newsreadersl to which Amruta, a gold medallist in English literature, went with trepidation.
"The obstacles were that since everyone else in society holds biases and doubts the capabilities of a visually challenged person, I too would be hit by the occasional bug of self-doubt. I would pause to wonder if I could really make it even though I had phenomenal interest. So, when the BCN channel called for screen tests, I applied but also feared if I would make it at all. But right from the first test onwards I realised that I could and would make it to the top and also do it better than most," said Amruta.
Amrita reads her news scripts in Braille.
Amruta's mother Chhaya Bhople has stood by her through all her trials in life. As a mother Chhaya feels that Amruta's success is a result of determination. She is not overtly worried about Amruta's future, as she believes that Amruta who never says die will succeed in life.
"I would not call the impediments that Amrita faced as huge calamities. Had it not been for these obstacles she would have not been such a fighter, a winner. She continuously challenges herself to excel and pits her capabilities against the sighted so she has no mean goals. She exudes a lot of interest in her studies and she also stood in the merit list amongst general candidates in her 10th matriculation and plus two examinations," said Chhaya of Amruta's endeavours.
The young woman also plays chess, sings old melodies with as much ilan as she lilts the remixed numbers. Her next goal is to read news for some national channel or any of the popular private television channels.
India is a country of more than a billion people where millions of disabled live on the fringes of society, struggling to make a living.
Critics say the government still grappling with massive poverty and trying to provide basic needs such as clean water and education to the populace cannot chart proper rehabilitation programmes for its differently abled sections.
Government officials say that about two percent of the population have physical or sensory disabilities that include visual, speech, hearing and movement problems but volunteers working in the field put the figure at five to six percent of the population, or 50 to 60 million people.
The Persons With Disabilities Act of 1995 says that India's disabled are entitled to a host of rights that would go a long way in enriching the lives of its disabled, already harassed by nature's follies.
But more than a decade after the act was passed, few public places and institutions are disabled-friendly. Virtually no buses are wheel chair accessible, the blind still cannot cross roads on their own and the deaf face a host of problems.
Source URL: http://www.newkerala.com/news.php?action=fullnews&id=83867.
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