Hearing-impaired woman gets award from President

Published: Dec 12, 2013, 08:27 IST | Vinita Devendra |

Martial arts expert, classical dancer, swimmer and engineer Vanitha Balasubramanian was honoured recently

Ghansoli resident Vanitha Balasubramanian has not let her limitations get in the way of her achievements. Despite being hearing-impaired, 24-year-old Vanitha set the bar high for herself.

Deserving candidate: Vanitha Balasubramanian receives the award from President Pranab Mukherjee for her accomplishments in the past two decades of her life

She earned a black belt in karate at the age of nine, is a trained classical dancer and swimmer and has completed her Bachelors in Engineering (Electronics and Telecommunication) from SIES College, Nerul. She has also acquired her driving licence for both two and four wheelers.

Recognising her efforts and crediting her never-say-die spirit, she was one of the recipients of the National Award for the Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (2013), presented by President Pranab Mukherjee. The event was organised by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment on December 3 in New Delhi.

She was honoured with this award for her accomplishments in the past two decades of her life. Vanitha currently works at Bank of Baroda in Vashi. Her office superiors too are keen on felicitating her for this award soon.

“Despite my disability, I studied with normal children and considered my brother as my biggest competitor. I always felt the need to challenge him in whatever he did and that’s the reason I have learned so many things. I am so happy to receive this award that I cannot express it in words,” said Vanitha.

She hopes that she can set an example for people like her and inspire them to strive hard to achieve their goals.  With her parents by her side, she has been able to overcome all odds to reach where she is today.

“We feel truly elated when today everyone knows us as Vanitha’s parents. All the love and hard work we have put into bringing up our daughter has completely paid off,” said Balasubramanian Iyer, Vanitha’s father.

Offering a piece of advice, she said, “I urge and appeal to all those who have similar problems like me not to lose heart and take interest in everything that interests them.

I also pray to those parents with children like us to support their children in whatever they do and help them overcome their difficulties. We, differently abled are in no way inferior to any other person,” she said. 

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