T Sriramanujam, a young boy from India became the world’s first visually impaired news anchor
Born blind at birth, T Sriramanujam, an 11-year-old boy from Tamil Nadu, India, fulfilled his long cherished dream of becoming a news anchor on 1st May 2015, as he went live for 22 minutes on the Lotus News. Sriramanujam thus etched his name written in history as the world’s first visually impaired news anchor as claimed by the Lotus News. A student of blind school, Ramanujam read the special news live with the help of Braille. As he spoke about the latest news developments including a follow up story on Nepal earthquake, his family watched him with tears of joy.
I am studying in 5th standard in a blind school. Even though I could never see TV, I used to listen to it keenly and follow. I wished if anyone would give me a chance to become a news anchor. Finally, Lotus Channel gave me that opportunity.
While T Sriramanujam has never seen a television set, he used to listen to the broadcast programs carefully and longed to become a news anchor some day. When Lotus news offered him this opportunity, he grabbed it with both hands and amazed everyone with his great performance in front of the camera.
He was selected by the news channel in December 2014 and was then trained for 4 months in news anchoring – including news reading, voice modulation, posture, managing breaking news, etc. Sriramujam knew there was no margin for mistakes, hence he had rehearsed the news six times before going on live and after four months of rigorous training sessions, he made a flawless debut on screen in his first bulletin of 22 minutes.
The chairman of Lotus channel, G.K.S. Selvakumar, said that the main purpose of introducing the visually challenged boy was to promote and create awareness on disability and to also promote eye donation. The Lotus News Channel had earlier set a trend by becoming the first to introduce a transgender as a news reader. By giving this opportunity to a visually challenged 11-year-old boy, the channel has further opened doors for other people with disabilities.
T Sriramanujam, a 5th grader, has already proven his excellence in studies, claiming the top ranks in all his classes. The young, ambitious boy further wants to study and become an IAS officer.
Talent cannot be restricted by a disability. No disabled child should be isolated from society. My request to all parents is if you have a disabled child make them an achiever. Disability should not limit the disabled child to achieve what a normal child could otherwise achieve, said Kalaiarasi, T Sriramanujam’s mother.
T Sriramanujam not just made his parents proud, but also inspired thousands across the globe to pursue one’s dreams with determination and to overcome whatever obstacles come in the way. Nothing is an obstacle unless you say it is; it’s not our disabilities, it’s our abilities that count.
Image credit: motivateme