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The Insightful Dynamo

SachuLow Vision

Sachu Ramalingam, for 25 years, has been a powerhouse. Both a seasoned professional working tirelessly for children and a medical professional, in her engaging narration she unravels the intricacies of low vision. She offers insights into what it is, when it occurs, and who it can affect. Follow Sachu’s journey through the hurdles of school days, where copying from the chalkboard felt like decoding hieroglyphics and where challenges were more than just academic. As a seasoned professional, she sheds light on the real-life struggles faced by individuals with low vision, from navigating the workplace to conquering the aisles of a shopping mall. Amidst her accolades and awards, Sachu’s story is a matter-of-fact exploration of life with low vision. This film isn’t just about seeing differently, it’s about a remarkable woman embracing life on her own terms.
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Transcript

The low vision definition that is there in the, in the current RPWD Act

The Rights for Persons with Disabilities Act

I have contributed to that definition because I am one of those few people in the country

who works for people with low vision also

Hi, I am Sachu Ramalingam and I have been a low vision professional, working for children with low vision for the last 25 years

In addition to the professional life that I shared, I have been a practicing low vision professional for the last 25 years

In fact, one of the few low vision experts in the country where I give time to see low vision patients in the clinical set up, here in Mumbai and I used to do it in Delhi too and I am a person who lives with low vision

Low vision is a condition which happens at any part of life in, and it could be in children, it could be in middle age, it could be in senior citizens

It is a condition where after the best possible treatment and standard refractive error correction the vision has not improved for the person to be able to functionally handle his/her life in the way any other person could do, and still there is a visual impairment but there is enough vision perhaps to manage their daily life or their mobility or do reading or writing with low vision devices

I didn’t know that I was a person with low vision until I actually took my own professional course in rehabilitation science, after my grade 12.

Though my vision problem was detected right when I was 6 months and I had undergone a series of six surgeries between 6 months of age to say 7 years of age

But I always was a child in a mainstream school because my mother was very insistent that I study in a regular, mainstream school

So, I have gone through all the challenges that happens to a low vision child

not being able to copy from the board, having resistance from teachers to have me in class

In fact, when I was in grade 10, I didn’t want a reader-writer but they forced a reader-writer to me

and I am a person who can think and write

I can’t think and speak and I had a, the fun part is I had a writer whose handwriting was worser than me

The challenges that a person with low vision faces, especially when you are in a place of employment is being able to work on computer and have that kind of a device where the device can come close to the eyes with a touch screen or with modifications made to the device

So in my office I also have a desktop screen that will come close to my face despite working on a laptop

The other big challenge is when you do outdoor shopping and to identify the product with the price

As a woman, we want to be very elegant and well-dressed and the kind of position that I am,

I really need to be extremely presentable and makeup is an art which I have developed without even looking at the mirror

So that’s one

But you know there are ways in which I can do that. I might look at my phone, magnified camera, etc.

So my life completely came to a full circle the day I received the President of India Award as a role model for being a professional to serve people with disabilities, which I received from our honourable Pratibha Patil 

and also the Neelam Kanga Award which is a very prestigious award

and also the Hellen Keller Award for employment of people with disabilities

So apart from all of this, I give a lot of dedicated time to my spiritual evolution

And I practice kriya yoga and my day starts at 4 am, where I meditate for 2 hours and finish my home chores from 7 to 8 

and then run to office and back again before I sleep, I definitely do meditate

This has been a source of inspiration in right decisions

And to be able to calm, to deal with a team of seventy plus which I deal in my office

That’s it  (laughter) 

All right, see you, bye! 

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