THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Tiffany Brar, vision-impaired and founder of Jyothirgamaya Foundation, Thiruvananthapuram, has become the winner of Holman Prize 2020 from the LightHouse for the Blind, USA. She is the first Indian to receive the Holman Prize. The award is given to three individuals to explore the world and push their limits.Twenty-nine-year-old Tiffany has walked away with $25, 000 (Rs 18.28 lakh) prize money to carry out ambitious ideas that will push her further to more challenges and shatter misconceptions about blindness around the world.
The award was also given to Dr Birendra Raj Sharma Pokharel from Nepal and Tylor Merren from USA to explore the world and push their limits. This endeavour celebrates people who want to shape their own future instead of having it laid out for them. The award was given in the name of James Holman (1786-1857) who was a Victorian-era adventurer and author and also the first blind person to circumnavigate the globe. Tiffany’s Holman ambition is called “Reaching the Unreached.”
“Along with Jyothirgamaya team of special educators, I will be working closely with local leaders and government workers to expand services for the blind into rural and tribal communities in South India”, said Tiffany Brar.The only daughter of retired General T P S Brar and the Late Leslie Brar, Tiffany grew up in the capital city since 1995 when her father was serving as the Brigadier in Pangode Military Camp.
Though Tiffany was born blind, that did not deter her vision and mission towards leading a normal life. She had come up with a novel scheme of launching a mobile visually impaired school, ‘Jyothirgamaya’, after her leadership training at Kanthari run by a German lady, Sabriye Tenberken and her Dutch partner, Paul Kronenberg at Vellayani here. Currently, Tiffany is running Jyothirgamaya Foundation where several visually impaired students are provided training on becoming self reliant which has been running on meagre resources.