Eyes set on her goals, this blind filmmaker’s spirit is undeterred

The ability to turn their handicap into a stepping stone for success is noteworthy

photo courtesy: Times of India

By Ram Teja Times News Network For some, a permanent illness comes in the form of a hindrance to their dreams but for a select few, the ability to turn their handicap into a stepping stone for success is noteworthy. Forced to quit her graduation in mass communication because of a brain tumour that had left her blind in 2008, Aishwarya Pillai is now one of the participants at this year’s ‘Holman Prize’ competition. Holman Prize is a competition held every year for the blind which offers a cash prize of $25,000 to three chosen participants to fund their ambitions. Since 2013, she has been working as counsellor for the visually impaired at the LV Prasad Eye Hospital. Incidentally, this was the same hospital she was admitted to when diagnosed with the tumor. Having gone through visual rehabilitation and computer skills training, she counsels hundreds of patients who visit the hospital for visual rehabilitation. With an immense passion for film-making, Aishwarya also learnt the nuances of editing and sound mixing with the help of softwares. Aishwarya has her sights set on opening a film academy for the blind and to produce a movie with the prize money. “We have already produced an audio movie with dialogues and similarly if I train a few people we can make a full length movie,” Aishwarya informed over a telephonic conversation. Established in 2017, this competition has participants from across the globe vying for the Holman’s prize. The first round in this competition involves the participants to shoot a 90 second video pitching their idea and the video with the most likes on YouTube is selected for further rounds. The further rounds involve a detailed report on the idea pitched which finally culminates in an interview by the ‘Lighthouse for the blind’ organization. The final winners of the ‘Holman Prize’ competition will be announced in July later this year. Ram Teja is a student at NSoJ and is an intern with Times of India, Hyderabad

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