Thiruvananthapuram: Smart, confident and ever smiling, Tiffany Maria Brar is a quintessential teacher guiding, counselling her students. The 27-year-old may by sight impaired but she has a vision.
Founder of the Jyothirgamaya Foundation, a training institute for blind, Ms Brar not only teaches computer skills but also imparts critical life lessons to her students.
Daughter of an army officer, Ms Brar has fought her own battles. Talking about her struggles at the blind school, Ms Brar says, "When I was studying at the blind schools, we were never taught well. Teachers would come, teach something and go. I decided I do not want other blind children to go through the same."
With this empowerment mission on her mind, Ms Brar founded Jyothirgamaya Foundation in April 2015.
The visually challenged students are taught orientation and mobility, English and computers at the foundation.
There are many success stories to the institute's credit. Amal Raj NR, a 29 year old student, talks about his experience. "I came here to learn computer but I have got more. I was desperate, she has given me hope."
Talking about the odds visually impaired people face, Ms Brar says, "The only word blind people are taught is... you can't... you can't...you can't. Even my father was very over protective but I had it in me that I must walk alone, travel alone...live by myself ...and now I want to empower others."
Ms Brar helps others by counselling the parents and convinces them not to be over-protective about their grown up children during her field visits.
The feisty confident teacher, who has overcome all obstacles, one area still remains a cause of concern - cooking! However, her caretaker, Vineeta, who stays with her says, "Tiffany does everything by herself. She even does my work - like bank work etc which I have problems in doing. She is truly inspiring."