23-Year-Old Panipat Girl Proves How Disability Can Become A Special Ability

 The measure of a man, or woman, is not so much what they have accomplished, though that has weight. It often is much more though what that man or woman has overcome to accomplish what they have.” ― Leif Gregersen 

When we hear the word "disabled" the first thing that comes to our mind is a person who can't talk or walk or do everything that a regular person can. We couldn't be more wrong about them, with proper treatment and exposure they can do things just like any person, if not better. The protagonist of this story will happily vouch for it.

Meet Nishtha Dudeja, 23 year old with a 100% hearing disability. Before you paint a mental picture of her, you should know that she is an international para-athlete; she has won a National Award and recently has even won an international beauty pageant.

Beauty Inside Out

On 19th November at the Mr. and Miss Deaf World Pageant- 18th edition- held at Prague. Nishtha became the first Indian to win the title of Miss Deaf Asia, spite of the tough competition she faced from the contestants from China, Thailand, Taiwan, Israel, Czech Republic, Belarus, Mexico and South Africa.

Accomplishments So Far

But that's not all, this Panipat girl who is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Economics at Mithibai College, has too many feathers in her cap. Other than her being brilliant in studies, she is extraordinary in extra-curricular activities too. She has represented India thrice in International Tennis competitions, Deaflympics 2013 (Bulgaria), World Deaf Tennis Championship 2015 (Nottingham, UK) and Deaflympics 2017 (Turkey). She has even mastered judo and has won numerous medals at the state and national levels. Along with that she is an incredible dancer too.


It wouldn't surprising if most of us feel like an underachiever when compared to this talented "disabled" girl. Recently, her name has been selected for a National award for the Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, 2018, in the Role Model category, awarded by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. She will be presented with the award at a function, which is scheduled to be held in Delhi on December 3. In an email to Mumbai Mirror she wrote,

The letter (from the ministry) came on November 9. When I read it, I screamed and ran to my mom. ‘Look, we are getting a National Award!’ I told her. My dad was in the office, and I called him like an excited child and broke the news. It is a great honor for me, and I am really very happy I was selected for this award this year.


Initial Struggles

Her father VP Dudeja is a chief engineer (construction) with the Northern Railway, and mother Punam Dudeja is a homemaker. She along with her family had to go through a lot of struggles, after she was detected with hearing disability at the age of 3. In such situations parents support plays a very important role, in deciding the future of a child. Her family left no stone unturned to make Nishtha's future a brighter one. Her mother while talking to India Times said,

We were heartbroken when we came to know that our child will not be able to hear lifelong but we did everything to make our daughter’s life a successful one.

Since childhood she used a hearing aid. Her speech, which was previously affected, but with their sheer dedication and hard work, after seven years of speech therapy, she finally conquered that too. Along with that she was sent to regular schools instead of special schools for the hearing disabled, which made her journey challenging, helping her take on tasks like any regular person. She believes,

I want to break the barriers in various fields where differently-abled people have not been considered suitable.

Future Plans

Nishtha hopes to come out as a role model for the differently abled. She also wishes to work on bringing down the drop-out rate of disabled students by spreading awareness about the treatments available for various disabilities.  

I want to thank my parents for their consistent support who were always there to help me. Now I want to help the deprived people even at the cost of my comfort. I believe that the differently abled people don’t need pity. They only deserve equal opportunities to prove themselves

We at Kenfolios hope she accomplishes whatever she wished to and more. 

No disability can stop you from realizing your dreams. You should keep your targets high and achieve them through hard work and dedication. Let your disability become a special ability. - Nishtha Dudeja

Picture Source: Zee News; Mumbai Mirror; India Today

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