The highlight of the 33rd Low Vision Awareness Program (LAP) program was the inspirational talk by Rukaiya Vadnagarwala, a young 19 year old girl who has low vision due to oculocutaneous albinism. She had completed her high school a year ago with excellent marks and has been visiting LVPEI for the past 15 years, and using low vision devices such as a telescope for distance tasks, a dome magnifier for near tasks since early childhood. The latest addition to Rukaiya’s armamentarium of devices has been the portable electronic magnifier that she says is her best friend.
Rukaiya’s father, who had accompanied her, was pleasantly surprised at his seemingly shy daughter transformed into an eloquent motivational speaker when talking about her experiences in public. Perhaps her ancestral origins (Vadnagar) partly go to explain the special penchant for public speaking, for it is also the birthplace of our Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi!
Like most students elsewhere the country, Rukaiya is preparing for entrance examinations to Engineering colleges and has set her ambitions high. She has excellent support from her teachers, parents and her eye care professionals who don’t believe that low vision should be an impediment if one is determined to achieve their ambitions in life.