Published: 08th March 2021
Women's Day: Suguna K teaches Tamil at a well-known TN school despite being visually-impaired. This is her inspiring story
Suguna K is visually-impaired and was earning merely Rs 200 a day doing odd jobs. However, she was determined to do something meaningful with her life. We find out more
Suguna K lost her eyesight when she was just a year old child. Her family did not tell her that she had no sight or was different from the others until she went to a school for the visually-impaired in Trichy where her friends told her about her condition. But that did not stop her from achieving what she wanted in life. Suguna is the only one in her family to be educated and has a bachelor's degree.
Until 2015, the now 38-year-old used to sell candies at the Tambaram railway station, in the southern neighbourhood of Chennai along with her husband who is also visually challenged. Santanan, who works at Infosys met her one day at the railway station. He spoke to her and found that she is well-educated and is doing such odd jobs just to earn a meagre amount to make ends meet. She told him that she has a BA and BEd degree in Tamil but hasn't got a job anywhere due to her condition. He then introduced Suguna to Sujith Kumar, an HR professional who runs the Maatram Foundation which works closely with the Mahindra World School in Chennai. "I met him at his office and explained to him that I have been aspiring for a steady career but saw little hope given my condition. He asked me not to go back to selling candies again and assured me he would do something," Suguna tells us.
Sujith and his team then took her to meet Nirmala Krishnan, Principal of Mahindra World School to seek her guidance. "I didn't know I was going there for an interview. I was just told I will meet the principal. She asked me how will I manage in an English medium school, to which I responded that I am a Saurashtrian and I speak that language but to survive I learnt Tamil, so I will be able to learn English too," shares Suguna. Her confidence and eagerness to learn impressed the principal and that's when her life took a turn for the better. After an hour-long interaction, the principal decided to recruit her as a Tamil teacher for the junior classes at Mahindra World School. She joined the school in June 2015 and has since been a teacher there. Suguna now has a fulfilling career that promises a bright future for not only her but her two children, who were also enrolled in the school.
Suguna’s confidence in her own abilities has played a huge role in making her turn her life around. Currently, she has applied for a PhD in Tamil at Satyabhama University and is awaiting confirmation.