A story we are proud to tell:- Sushmeetha Bubna, founder, Voice Vision,awarded Dr.Batra’s Positive Health Award 2010
Celebrating the spirit of entrepreneurship even under extreme limitations!!
Sushmeetha Bubna was born in a well-educated, business family. She was born with cataract that was detected only at the age of 5. The cataract in her right eye was successfully operated at the age of 7. A self-dissolving capsule, which was placed in the eye after operation caused complications and had to be operated upon again. But this time she suffered a hemorrhage in the eye with retinal detachment and lost vision in the right eye completely. A year and a half later, at 13, she was affected with the retinal detachment in the left eye as well. It was operated upon at Shankara Netralaya and she gained vision and continued her studies, but retinal detachment struck again, when she was in 10th standard. Only a few months from the crucial board exams, she was operated again at Chennai. Her school (Umedbhai Patel English School) principal feared poor performance, because it took 2 months to regain vision after the operation and there wasn’t enough time for her to prepare for the exams. With the of a private tutor who would record the lessons on an audio tape and she wrote her exams without vision and cleared the exams. She continued her education and graduated in commerce. But could not fulfill her dream of doing Masters in marketing management, as she was not allowed, due to her vision problem and had to compromise with a Diploma in Administrative Management, from NMIS. Later she enrolled into a rehabilitation course at NAB, Mahalaxmi, where she learnt mobility, Braille, cooking and also vocational trades as Broom making, cycle repairing, agarbati making etc.
1. Please tell us in brief about yourself and Voice Vision
I was an ambitious woman with a graduation in commerce and a post graduate degree in management, a full-time director of a technology providing/driven company with in-depth love for exploring new assistive technology, stemmed with a vision of creating a difference in others’ lives with all my run-time knowledge. I wanted to learn to use the computer but was denied admission in one of the leading computer training institutes. Thereafter I found no institute, who could train a visually impaired person like myself. So, I planned to open a computer institute for the visually challenged community. People warned me and said it’s impractical. They tried to dissuade me. But the constant source of my inspiration and support, my father encouraged me. He said if I could teach even one student, even then the aim behind this institute will be fulfilled.
On April 3rd, 2000 she held the first class of her institute “Voice Vision”.
2. What are the challenges you seem to be facing?
“A wish to serve” is never full-filled without the presence of the infrastructure on one hand, and the ‘service seekers on the other. With the help of Voice Vision I could manage to get the infrastructure right over the last 10 years, but the job to bridge the gap between the seekers and the available technology is an on-going challenge. “People should benefit” is my vision, and ‘reaching out to ‘people is the challenge.
3. How does it feel to be the winner of Dr.Batra’s Positive Health Award?
I’m overwhelmed by the recognition, but even more touched by their gesture of reaching out to people who have, and who aspire to bring about a change amidst all adversities. I wish to see and applaud many such awardees in the coming years who have not only left the ‘mark in the society, but continue to carry on by inspiring others. On a lighter note after meeting Aishwarya & Abhishek the feeling is something that cannot be justified in words.
4. Do you think an Award like this makes a difference? Has it impacted you in some way?
My identity over the years and in the years to come has/will always be marked by my institute ‘Voice Vision’. Awards like these certainly bring the attention of the society towards ‘help on hand’, through which people can spread the good deed across their surroundings, alongside benefiting themselves.
5. Any message for the others
“The joy of life is in the joy of ‘giving’”. Try to give whatever you can. It may be a small pat on the back, or a few words of encouragement. Every little thing matters in this world.
Sushmeetha Bubna is an inspiration, through her grit and determination she has turned every challenge into an opportunity. We at YourStory salute her spirit and hope she wins many more laurels in the future.