When she was one-year-old, a congenital cataract defect robbed her of vision in her left eye.
At 33, she lost vision in her right eye as well after facing domestic violence. But Sachu Ramalingam, a resident of Mulund, did not lose hope or give up. Ramalingam, now 37, works as a programme officer with Sightsavers, a development organisation working with the visually impaired in the country.
For the past 13 years, she has trained more than 5,000 children and adults with low vision to carry out their daily chores independently.
Ramalingam will be conferred the ‘Super Idol’ title by the IBN18 Editorial Board on Tuesday for her work.
The award ceremony, which is in its third year, honours those who have not allowed their circumstances to deter their dreams.
“Children with low vision lead a double life because they can see only partial images. Providing them vision efficiency training can help improve their vision,” said Ramalingam, who is also the editor of ‘Netranjali’, a quarterly magazine on vision rehabilitation.
“In India, there are more than nine million people with complete blindness and approximately 30 million people with low vision. Providing timely assistance to children with low vision can help prevent them from developing anti-social mannerisms because they are not attended to,” she added.
For Ramalingam, the honour is a great platform to reach out to parents of children with low vision problems.
“During my childhood, there were no counselling centres to help me cope with my disability. It was at the age of 12 that I decided to ensure that no other visually impaired child had to meet a fate similar to mine,” said Ramalingam.