While many of us blame circumstances for our failures, there are a few real heroes, who rather than complaining about their circumstances, with their immense courage and determination turn their dreams into reality.
One such hero is Manashree Soman, who while battling with her disability, not only created a life of dignity for herself but also showed the world that she is much more than her disability.
Recently, she shared her inspiring story with HoB:
“When I was born, the doctor told my parents that there was a chance I would never walk or talk in addition to being visually impaired — little did he know that I was going to turn out to be a complete chatterbox!
When I first applied to school, they rejected me because they thought that I’d take all the attention and that ‘I would spoil the other normal children’! But that’s where they were wrong — I was normal! I went to another regular school and blossomed. I still remember dressing up in a sari for a fancy dress competition — I wanted it to be perfect, so for days before, I practiced walking on stage, figuring out how and where I wanted to sing — and I won first prize!
My teacher’s also went out of their way to keep me involved — during Dahi Handi, one of my teacher’s held me up to the pot so I could feel the celebrations! Even during Diwali, my friends would sit beside me and describe the colours and designs of the crackers in the sky!
In the 7th standard, I won the Bal Shree President’s Award. I wasn’t at school when they announced it, but apparently, my classmates jumped up and down on the benches! I received my award from Dr. Abdul Kalam at the Rashtrapati Bhavan and performed a song for him!
College was a whole other world, my mother would travel with me by train all the way to Marine Lines and then walk me to and from college — and when lectures were cancelled, she’d have to turn back from whichever station she was at and come back for me! But family has always come first, it’s the biggest rule of our house. In fact, before my sister got married she told her fiancé that no matter what happens he had to know I was her number one!
Even though my sister now lives in London, she’s been my biggest support throughout my job application process. For the last two years, I’ve been working at a bank as a clerk. I’ve obviously had my challenges too, I’ve had instances where customers sometimes complain to management because they think I’m sleeping on the job, but my colleagues stand up for me!
I’ve never allowed any of this to bring me down, honestly, it just makes me want to work harder because I can’t be stopped. A few years ago I realized I had a story I wanted people to know, so I even wrote a book.
The doctor had sealed my fate on the day I was born, but today, I’m an author, I’m completely financially independent, I have a job that I love, and I’m surrounded by people who believe in me, and my dreams. I’m more than ‘that blind girl’ and I’m more than any label or tag. I’m more than my ‘disability’, and I’m more than my supposed ‘limitations’. I SEE that everyday and I wish the world could see it too.”
At IFORHER, we are in awe of this courageous woman as she has shown the world that with true courage, we can conquer anything. We hope her inspiring story would have given you the strength to fight against your life challenges to make your dreams come true. Because we are more than our limitations!