Paridhi Verma, a 21-year-old visually impaired girl from Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow, has surpassed everyone's expectations and landed a job. There were many who thought that such a feat would be impossible for this young girl with her severe visual impairment. However, her recent offer from a micro-finance bank as a customer relationship executive has left everyone pleasantly surprised.
Paridhi was just 19 years old, the youngest in her batch when she joined one of the top business schools in India. Paridhi's honest and blunt response to her visual impairment has always left quite a few stunned. While talking to Hindustan Times, she said,
Yes, I have a disability. I suffer from macular degeneration with visual impairment up to 90 percent. With 10 percent vision, I may have to take a slightly different path than others. Macular degeneration is a very rare disease and occurs in one in seven lakh people. It is incurable and progressive in my case.
Paridhi was always good academically and that's why it was a shock for her as well as her parents when her grades started dropping drastically in the fifth standard. Initially, her parents thought she was not studying properly, but after she got some colour in her eyes on Holi, her parents took her to the doctor, who prescribed glasses. With the glasses having no effect on her vision, she underwent many tests and was diagnosed with this rare disease.
It was very difficult for Paridhi to grasp the situation and her falling grades were also getting her worried. However, having been spiritual from a very young age helped her in overcoming all the obstacles. With time and maturity, she tells Hindustan Times that she became a more confident and self-motivated person.
She then went on to do her BBA from ICG, Jaipur and also holds a diploma in mass communication and video production. Paridhi initially wanted to crack the civil services but decided to prepare for the Common Admission Test (CAT) after a friend suggested it to her. She cracked the exam after only a two and a half months of preparation.
Describing her initial days in the institute as a struggle since she was living away from her parents for the first time, Paridhi tells The Times of India,
Initially, I was not able to manage because preparations involved a lot of reading. At home, dad read out lessons for me. There was a time when I thought of quitting, but then my seniors came forward and volunteered to help me overcome my challenges. I have a disability, but I focus only on my abilities.
Understanding the importance of writers in a case such as hers, she tells Hindustan Times,
Normally, in an examination, one writes his/her own destiny. In my case, my destiny was in my writer’s hand. I consider myself lucky to get wholehearted support from well-wishers since childhood. God has been kind to me.
She never let her disabilities be a hindrance to her personal growth. She was a part of the team that won the under-18 state-level football championship in the tenth standard. In college, she learned how to play the guitar and formed her own college band that later even gave concerts. She has also walked the ramp at a college festival.
Paridhi has also received many awards recognising her perseverance, determination, and resolve. In her final year of college, she was felicitated with the 'Woman of the Future Award' in 2015 by the government of Rajasthan. Her parents have also received another award by the Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarth on her behalf on Daughter's Day.
A single child, she describes her parents as her support system and is grateful that they never sent her to special schools and ensured she got the best education from reputed schools.
Her dedication is nothing but proof that nothing is impossible if you are determined to achieve something and make a successful life out of the path in front of you.