Vision express: you don't need to see to succeed

Despite going blind very early on in life and losing everything, Bhavesh Bhatia didn’t let the darkness take charge, finds Sujitha J

Published: 10th October 2016 06:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 09th October 2016 05:40 PM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

Ihave no eyes, but God has given me ten fingers. Though I cannot see, the candles I make are spreading radiance all around the world, says Bhavesh Bhatia, founder of Sunrise Candles, a Maharashtra-based company. With 2,300 visually challenged employees, they are producing 50,000 candles every day, making an annual turnover of about Rs 20 crore and exporting candles to 65 countries. Bhatia shares his story:

Seeing the good in all
Bhatia was born with poor eyesight due to a condition called retinal macular degeneration. Young Bhatia was bullied by his classmates at school; they would call him “blind boy” but his mother inspired him, saying, “My boy, they are after you not to trouble you, but to strike a chord with you. They are taken by you. So be friends with them.” From then on, Bhatia has always seen the sunny side

Burning problems
At 23, Bhatia was working in a hotel for a brief period of time. Then, the light in Bhatia’s eyes had diminished and he lost the ability to see completely, but not before it replenished his sense of touch and smell. To Bhatia, the blow that struck him hard was being fired from his job on account of his disability. And it got worse. Cancer took away his beloved mother who would burn the midnight oil to read lessons to him

Rising again and making a way
The Candle King started reshaping his life with the craft he loved the most. “I was always keen in creating something. Naturally, I was drawn towards moulding out things like kites, clay toy statuettes, and so on.” Bhatia trained in making candles from the National Association for the Blind. With a dream to work wonders with colours and scents, and the reality of the difficulty to afford them, passionate Bhatia started small, selling candles in a cart, which he had rented for Rs 50 in Mahabaleshwar. Slowly and steadily, Bhatia plodded on and visited malls and broke through

Key to success
“One must develop any art form. It would help one’s career,” says Bhatia. “We make candles in almost 10,000 designs, as odd as the shape of a tonic bottle, human kidney, flowers, fruits with their smells, and so on. Our competitors are copying our designs but we don’t mind.” Boisterous Bhatia is a national-level athlete. “I wake up every day at 3.45 am and do Pranayama and meditation after which I work out in my gym and end with a run at 7 am.” Bhatia is also a public speaker, a poet, and a good cook

Hard work
“I don’t say no to anything. Even if a client gives an order to make 5 lakh candles in a week I will say yes. Even a small branch when it grows strong, can become a big block of wood. If a stone suffers the sculptor’s strokes it will shine as a statue,” muses the poetic Bhatia

Rising again and making a way
The Candle King started reshaping his life with the craft he loved the most. “I was always keen in creating something. Naturally, I was drawn towards moulding out things like kites, clay toy statuettes, and so on.” Bhatia trained in making candles from the National Association for the Blind. With a dream to work wonders with colours and scents, and the reality of the difficulty to afford them, passionate Bhatia started small, selling candles in a cart, which he had rented for Rs 50 in Mahabaleshwar. Slowly and steadily, Bhatia plodded on and visited malls and broke through

Burning passion
Bhatia partakes the fire from the candle he makes. He always raises the bar on his performance. With the wish to give employment to 50,000 visually challenged people, climb Mount Everest and make the tallest candle in the world, Bhatia is fiercely purusing his passions



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