Sandhya Limaye: I have always been a determined person

Where there's determination, there is always a way

Our intention creates our reality – Wayne Dyer

I believe

If there is one tool we all have within us and that we can use to fulfill any dream in life, it is determination. Once you decide that come what may, you are going to make something happen, then nothing can deter you from reaching your objective.

Sandhya Limaye is an example of a life lived with sheer grit and determination. She chooses to not look at her problems as huge hurdles and says, “I have my limitations like others, but those do not prevent me from being a part of society, like all persons with disabilities should rightfully aspire for and achieve.”

Dr Sandhya Limaye

Sandhya Limaye crossed all obstacles that came in her path and successfully acquired her PhD in “Parental Effort in the Developmental Path of an Adolescent with Hearing Impairment.”

For a person with 85dB hearing loss in the right ear, and 90 dB loss [normal hearing = 0–20 dB] in the left, acquiring a doctorate was definitely a dream-come-true. Sandhya’s success story makes her an advocate for early intervention and guidance for hearing-impaired children.

This is not all. Sandhya’s most remarkable achievement is her near-flawless speech, face-to-face, or over the phone. How could she, a seriously hearing-impaired child, master and resonate articulate speech? Charming, suave and composed, she makes it all sound so simple and natural: “I do not remember any struggle. My mother would, perhaps, know better.” “I think there are many others who’ve achieved greater things I have. I have just been self-motivated and determined since childhood.”

Parents are the unsung heroes in the lives of children with learning disabilities and they can play an instrumental role in the development of their physically-challenged children. They have to constantly build confidence in their child to help them overcome their disability and behave like any normal child. “It was like aranya rodana [a cry in the wilderness],” says Dr Pratibha Borwankar, Sandhya’s mother, recalling the days when her daughter couldn’t utter a single word. “But, our efforts paid-off when she began to talk at the age of six. I had only one goal in mind: teach her standard speech, and make her a normal child endowed with great dreams and ambitions for her life.”

When faced with challenges in life, it all comes down to our attitude and how we choose to view our situation. Do we make it as an excuse for not succeeding in life or do we decide to take it in our stride.

A senior lecturer at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences [TISS], Mumbai, Sandhya does not let her disability come to the forefront when interacting with people. What’s more, she conducts lectures on various issues of disability and also guides students in field work and research.

Her message: don’t be afraid of difficulties and challenges in life. “Face them with courage – in order to experience the inspirational joy of success.”



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