Hemchandra Pandey might not say it in so many words, but he seems a firm believer in the saying that when the going gets tough the tough get going.
Losing his eyesight at the age of 22 in 2006 due to wrong medicine prescribed to him by a careless doctor, he was overtaken by despondency for some time. But the fighter in him ultimately made him take life head on.
Now working as a computer teacher at the Institute for the Blind in Sector 26, the visually challenged youth’s story is nothing short of an inspiration for those who go down without a fight against adversity.
“I was a normal, young person who had friends and loved riding my bike and going out with friends. I had fever once while pursuing BCom, which was wrongly diagnosed by the doctor. He gave me a medicine that affected my vision and I become visually impaired,” said Pandey, who now teaches other visually challenged students at the institute.
“I initially wanted to end my life and started questioning my existence. I cried. I had never known what a visually impaired does till it happened to me. I still crave my earlier life. But then I realised that if death did not befriend me, I had to befriend life. So, I completed my master’s degree from Dehradun institute with the help of Braille and started working here at the Institute for the Blind in Chandigarh, where I could relate to all my students,” the youth said.
Hemchandra Pandey can now easily operate his mobile phone and also computer through JAWS (Job Access With Speech). He is presently concentrating on clearing his UGC national eligibility test to become a lecturer and teach students with normal eyesight also.
“I want to go out with friends and family to watch and enjoy movies. But since I can’t see, there is no point in doing any such thing,” said Pandey, who can only see a faint silhouette of someone standing in front of him.
Major General Rajinder Nath, chairman of the institute, said, “I have always encouraged Pandey to overcome his disability and transform it into ability.”
Pandey said he loves to take long walks and listen to different sounds around him. “I wish to tell those with eyesight to appreciate God’s gifts since it really feels sad to be gifted and then suddenly deprived of the gift,” he signed off.