Lives changed by Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled

Of the 100s of lives that Samarthanam has changed, it is the story of Rajani that stands out the most. Rajani Gopal Krishna is the first visually challenged woman to have qualified as a Charted Accountant. While her achievements demonstrate how with determination and perseverance, no obstacle is insurmountable, they also throw light on the impact of Samarthanam.

Rajani was born no different than other children – very active and with normal eye sight. One day, at the age of nine, she returned from school with a high fever. So high was it that she needed to be admitted to hospital. Doctors diagnosed her with Steven Johnson’s syndrome – a condition that leaves a permanent impact on any organ of the body. In Rajani’s case, it turned out to be her eyes. This naturally put her at a disadvantage, growing up, both physically and socially. But with grit and determination, she completed her Bachelor in Commerce. Post-graduation, she set out to find a job too. Unfortunately, her handicap did not get her beyond the interviews.

That’s when she found her way to Samarthanam. Through the computer training programme, she learnt to use JAWS – a screen reading software, amongst other things. It is thanks to her knowledge of JAWS that she decided to take up Chartered Accountancy. She could now use the software to study and prepare for the exams. What’s more? Samarthanam’s recording studio setup also made it possible for scribes to make study materials available for her ( and others) by converting them to digital formats.

So when she cleared her exams in 2002, it was no surprise that she attributed her success to Samarthanam. She had become the first visually impaired woman to become a Chartered Accountant!

Today, Rajani works with Infosys Technologies (as a Chartered Account). She has been presented with several awards for her distinguished achievements.

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