'Blindness is not a curse' - The New Indian Express

'Blindness is not a curse'

Published: 22nd November 2013 09:04 AM

Last Updated: 22nd November 2013 09:04 AM

“Lack of sight is not all a curse, it is the enormous capacity within us which can help us to achieve our goals,” said Mariyam Cementwala, political officer at the US embassy in New Delhi, in an address to visually challenged students at Devnar Foundation for the Blind here on Thursday.

Cementwala, a visually challenged, is a foreign service officer in the political unit of the US embassy and advises the US government on strategic issues related to India.

“The rights of children, women and disabled are enshrined in the Constitution and are legitimate. We should strive hard to use them in real-time situations and prevent our visual impairment from becoming an impediment,” she pointed out.

Highlighting that there are umpteen opportunities for everyone, she said, “The situation of visually-impaired persons is not as bad as it was previously. It has improved and one needs to grab the opportunities emerging from them. Do not look towards the US or other western countries for opportunities.”

Around 200 visually-challenged children in the age groups of 14 and 18 years participated in the programme. Despite being blind, Cementwala is known for her participation in human rights movements internationally. She is also known for her wide knowledge of social and political landscape of India, and for her passion for languages.

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