Archive for the ‘Shivani Mehra’ category

Visually-impaired Jyoti Parmar has a vision – to enable others like her lead an independent life

July 23rd, 2011

Her eyes are set on a goal ‘ making visually impaired self-reliant. On her noble journey, Jyoti Parmar, 45, has taught 30 such persons how to write their name. Besides, she has been teaching English and social studies since 18 years at Braille Bhawan, Jamalpur. And while treading this path, she has not let her handicap be a barrier ‘ she had lost her vision when she was eight.

”Eight months ago, a school peon came to me with an attendance register. Assuming that I would not be able to sign, he sought my thumb impression. That day, I decided to change people’s perception towards us and started teaching my colleagues, friends and students how to write their name on paper. Now, there are others too who are learning it,” she smiled.

A resident of Jamalpur, Jyoti has undergone cornea transplant surgery many a time. ”But, I do not feel less blessed. As, I can even use ATM cards and sign cheque books. I am not dependent on anyone and I want others like me to be independent too. I feel very happy when I find them writing. It encourages me to go further,” said Jyoti, who has done MPhil in public administration from Punjabi University.

Her husband, Jaswinder Singh, and two daughters support her at every step. ”I have a better vision than a normal person, as I want to see visually-impaired people rising,” she said. ”It’s my responsibility to give them what I have. I plan to visit National Institute for Visually Handicapped, Dehradun, to appeal to it to add signature writing to the visually-impaired’s syllabus. It will make them more confident,” she added.

Sangeeta, a teacher in Braille Bhawan, said she used to feel helpless and low when people treated her as disabled. ”But after learning how to write my name, I feel confident. It has given me the will to learn more, as I am not less than anyone.”

Prem, another teacher, said, ”Jyoti has given me a reason to smile and live my life independently. My family feels proud when I write my signature. They are happy for me and want me to learn computers too.”

SOURCE – Times of India

Many respond to Facebook invite for ‘chhabeel’ & help

June 3rd, 2011

SOURCE : Times of India
Shivani Mehra, TNN | Jun 3, 2011

LUDHIANA: In an attempt to motivate people to join him in serving commuters sweet flavoured milk to mark the martyrdom day of Guru Arjan Dev, the fifth Sikh guru, Harjinder Singh, a resident of Gurdev Nagar announced on Facebook that he would be organizing a ‘chhabeel,’ while urging others to join in the effort.

His message evoked a good response and 200 local residents including some affluent people also joined hands to serve commuters on Thursday. Harjinder Singh organized the camp to help commuters beat the heat.

People who had promised to join him came forward to help him in serving people.

While talking to TOI, Singh said that he had been organizing such ‘chhabeels’ for the past many years on the occasion of martyrdom day of Guru Arjan Dev on June 5 but this time he decided to hold it a few days before the event to make it more purposeful, as on the 5th commuters get cold sweet milk at many places. He added that most of the devotees organize such ‘chhabeels’ on the occasion to serve commuters so he wanted to be different. ‘I would be performing sewa at a gurdwara on the occasion on June 5,’ he added.

‘Earlier, I never announced it on the social networking site, but this time I decided to post it on my own wall, so that others read it and responded to it. The idea was to give an opportunity to those who don’t take such initiatives to come forward to serve the community’, he said.

‘I was surprised by the response and even my father-in-law and cousins promised to join me’, he said, while adding that he thought that using the social networking site was a good way of conveying the message to all the people he knew.

Ramandeep Pahwa, 20, a resident of Sargodha Colony, who is on the social networking site informed that he decided to join Harjinder as it was a good opportunity to perform ‘sewa’.

Another 20-year-old, Arshneet Kaur, a resident of Gurdev Nagar said that she opted to perform ‘sewa’ at the ‘chhabil’ after she saw many of her friends joining Harjinder. ‘I liked the way Harjinder conveyed the message. Otherwise earlier we never used to get to know about such events’, she said.

Satinder Singh, a restaurateur, who is a resident of Sarabha Nagar informed that he came to know about the ‘chhabil’ after he read it on Harjinder’s wall. ‘Normally people share pictures or matter related to their personal lives on social networking sites, but this time someone used it for a good purpose,’ he said .

Shivani Mehra, TNN can be contacted at

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