Blind Yang shines as ‘soft power’ example | world | Hindustan Times
Today in New Delhi, India
Jun 22, 2017-Thursday
-°C
New Delhi
  • Humidity
    -
  • Wind
    -

Blind Yang shines as ‘soft power’ example

On her graduation day at the prestigious Kennedy School at Harvard, Yang Jia’s dean called her “China’s soft power”. A decade later, Yang, 49, has probably become more than that — in a country which has the largest population of the disabled in the world, visually impaired Yang is now its symbol of hope.

world Updated: Mar 13, 2012 00:48 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis

On her graduation day at the prestigious Kennedy School at Harvard, Yang Jia’s dean called her “China’s soft power”. A decade later, Yang, 49, has probably become more than that — in a country which has the largest population of the disabled in the world, visually impaired Yang is now its symbol of hope.

At Harvard, she was the first blind student to get a master’s degree in public administration. She now teaches a course called ‘Art of Communication’ in English at the Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences and is an active member of the top political advisory body of the country, Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) National Committee, currently in session in Beijing. She is also a member of the Jiu San Society, one among China’s eight non-communist parties.

“China is important because it has the world’s largest disabled population. If the well-being of the Chinese disabled improves, the well-being of people with disabilities across the world will see a considerable improvement,” Yang told the state-run Xinhua news agency.

In November 2008, she had competed for and won an election as a member of the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

“I don’t want people to be distracted from what I’m doing by my eye problems,” Yang said.