Multi-talented Goyal honoured, conferred with highest award | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Multi-talented Goyal honoured, conferred with highest award

delhi Updated: Dec 04, 2010 01:51 IST
Srinand Jha
Srinand Jha
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Mumbai-born Ashish Goyal is an amazing man. He's performed Brazilian drums on stage, is involved with theatre, music and charity work, keenly follows Formula-1, cricket and tennis and also holds the distinction of being the first blind student at Wharton Business School as well as being the world's first blind trader.

When Goyal, 30, is not doing all of this, he navigates his way through the global financial markets while working as a portfolio manager in the high-pressure environment at JP Morgan's Chief Investment Office at London.

Little wonder then that Goyal was the one chosen for this year's national award for the empowerment of persons with disabilities.

President Pratibha Patil conferred the award - India's highest honor for outstanding individuals with disabilities - on Goyal at a function at the Rashtrapati Bhawan on Friday.

Afflicted with "Retinitis Pigmentosa" - a disease in which the retina of the eyes slowly degenerates - Goyal started losing night vision at age eight; turning completely blind over the next three years.

When most people afflicted with similar personal tragedies have been sucked into a whirlpool of self pity, what has kept Goyal going?

"I think of myself as Ashish, not as a blind man. I have the same ambitions and fears as any other person - and lead as normal a life," Goyal says.

As an afterthought, he adds: "Dr Balaji Tambe, my guru, is the one who has remained my guiding light. Without him, I would have got nowhere."

Goyal's has been a fulfilling life: From winning the Dun and Bradstreet best student award at the Mumbai-based Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS) to winning the Joseph P Wharton Award at the Wharton School.