I Believe: Story of determination

Where there's determination, there is always a way

Our intention creates our reality - Wayne Dyer

I believeThe human mind can do anything it wants to, but only if it is endowed with an unwavering strength of determination, the confidence to reach the goal it has chosen, including the freedom of choice it exercises in deciding the kind of life we want to pursue.

If there is one gift that you can give to yourself to achieve success in life, it is the power of determination. If you have the determination to undertake a particular course of action, achieve a particular dream, attain a particular status, or position of honour, or prestige, in your life, nothing can stop you and deter you from reaching your objective.

"I have my limitations like others, but this doesn't prevent me from being a part of society, like all persons with disabilities should rightfully aspire for and achieve."

These are the stirring words of Sandhya Limaye, who crossed all hurdles 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, 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 profoundly hearing-impaired child, master and resonate articulate speech? Charming, suave and composed, she makes it all sound so simple, so natural: "I do not remember any struggle. My mother would, perhaps, know better." "I think there're many others who've achieved things better than me. I have just been self-motivated and determined since childhood."

Parents play an instrumental role in the development of a physically-challenged child. They have to constantly build confidence in their child to overcome their disability and behave like any normal child. "It was like Arunyaroodan [a cry in the wilderness]," says Dr Pratibha Borwankar, Sandhya's mother, recalling those times when her daughter couldn't utter a 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 in life."

We are all gifted with qualities like determination, perseverance and dare-devil attitude to face challenges in life. If we put all of these ingredients in the right proportion, nothing can stop us from achieving our goals.

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

Her profound message: don't be afraid of difficulties and challenges in life. "Face them with courage - to experience the inspirational joy of success."

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