The Optimist Citizen

Story of visually impaired Rajendra Dhurve – The youngest resource person of the Parliament Committee 2015

Born with normal eyesight, Rajendra, like every other child enjoyed the natural beauty while playing in parks or gardens. He loved nature. The lad of two forest department officials was closer to the green mesmerizing beauty of nature than anything else. But he never knew that this ‘green’ will turn into ‘black’ one day. At the age of 3, RD lost his eyesight. At first, it was hard to realize both for him as well as his parents. Even after long period of treatment, doctors could not give back light into his eyes. And gradually, his parents understood that their child had become visually impaired.

But ‘darkness’ was only in his eyes. His soul and mind were radiated with the brightest light, empowered by the strongest energy. It took him some time to get used to the blindness. But within a few months he got over it. He knew that there, in front of him, was a path full of opportunities. He learnt Braille and also polished his skills in computer programming. At the age of 6, he could perform coding on different computer software.


L-R RD in an interview with The Optimist Citizen ; RD with PM Narendra Modi

Rajendra’s aspirations were big. The turning point in his life came when he got the opportunity to translate Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam’s autobiography ‘Wings of Fire’ into Braille script. This accomplishment took him way long. He met his inspiration Dr.Kalam in New Delhi. “Dream big. Your dreams will change into thoughts and thoughts will result into actions…” These words of Dr. Kalam made an indelible mark in his heart and still echo in his mind and conscience.
His trail of achievements did not stop here. This brilliant personality also secured positions in the merit list in 10th and 12th boards and is currently pursuing bachelors degree in one of the most reputed institutes of Bhopal.
It might take an average human being nearly a lifetime to achieve such stellar accomplishments. But RD’s conscience kept pushing him to strive for more and he did indeed.
26th January 2015 witnessed a life changing experience for RD. He was called to New Delhi by the parliament house where he met the Prime Minister of India Mr.Narendra Modi and President of The United States Mr.Barack Obama. He got recognition for his splendid work and valuable contribution in Braille. Getting the title ‘diamond’ from Mr.Obama was something that he never dreamt of. While recalling his experience, he said it was an unbelievable overwhelming moment. Another remarkable feather was added to his cap when Mr.Modi appointed him as the youngest resource person of the parliament committee 2015. This phenomenal incident is a master stroke in RD’s life.
In an informal conversation with THE OPTIMIST CITIZEN, RD quotes a surprising heart touching statement about dreams. He says, “When I had sight, my dreams used to be audio-visual… But now, I can only hear voices… My dreams are only audio.”
Confidence and the ‘moving ahead’ attitude are origins of his endless trail of accomplishments. Blindness did not block his vision… Instead, it took him way forward.
When he was leaving THE OPTIMIST CITIZEN office, he said, “SEE YOU SOON.” This ironical statement left all of us thoughtful.

Written by : Piyuli Ghosh

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