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For some people like R.Sriramanujam, there is a great scope despite being blind. He was not someone who usually cursed his fate but instead, he decided to change his chapter by achieving something great in his life. This goes to show how determined he is. He approached his life with a fresh perspective and today he is the world’s first blind news reader. Hailing from Tamil Nadu, he has received praises for his attitude. He may not see the whole world but he made the whole world see him. This sums up the essential Sriramanujan for you! The 14-year-old T Sriramanujan is visually impaired since his birth but that didn’t stop him from fulfilling his evergreen dream of becoming a news anchor. He went live for 22 minutes on the Lotus News which is a satellite television channel based at Coimbatore. Thus he became world’s first visually impaired news anchor as claimed by the channel. Sriramanujam is a student of the blind school and reads the special news live with Braille-reading technique. He developed the habit of reading through fingers. He shared his first experience that he was petrified with fear when he was actually reading the news for the first time. But after going about his business, he had gone from strength to strength to cover topics such as national, sports and entertainment news. He told the Hindu, “I was trembling with fear when I read the first news. But, on reading it, I gained confidence and read the remaining 30 news items in my half-hour slot covering topics such as national, sports and entertainment news.” Sriramanujam was blissfully pleased as punch that Lotus news channel has offered him a wonderful opportunity to showcase his mettle. He can now breath a sigh of relief to say that his long-cherished dream of becoming a new anchor is finally accomplished. He wishes to do it better as the days progress. Channel Chairman, identified as G K S Selvakumar told PTI that the main aim of introducing the visually handicapped boy was to promote and create awareness on eye donation among the public, “So that such talented people get their vision back and achieve their goals.”
An iconic fast food spot in Petaling Jaya has been in the spotlight for hiring senior citizens and people with disabilities. A Twitter user known as Cikgu Brian recently posted about his visit to A&W on Lorong Sultan and how impressed he was by the restaurant’s diverse group of employees. “A&W Petaling Jaya has gained my respect for hiring the hearing-impaired and senior citizens. “It not only makes this a family-oriented environment but it also gives the staff a chance to feel wanted and respected,” he wrote. His followers then chimed in to applaud A&W Malaysia for providing elderly folk and disabled people with work opportunities. “This is great, they’re giving a chance for disabled people to work. “Thanks to (companies like) KFC, A&W, Foodpanda, and GrabFood for giving opportunities like this to people,” wrote Twitter user rusukx. Brian’s post also brought back a sense of nostalgia for customers who have been patronising the outlet since it opened its doors in 1965. “Stepping into this A&W feels like going back in time to the 1990s. All of a sudden, it feels like time moves slower here. “Also, customers are literally talking and chatting. Not many are playing with their phones. “I don’t know why but the atmosphere here is unique,” said AnisKhalidi. “I feel young every time I enter an A&W. (This was where I came for) dating, skipping class, and chilling out on weekends,” wrote KarolAriffSaid_. A&W Malaysia also responded to Brian’s tweet and thanked him for sharing the touching story with his audience.   Despite the heartwarming news, the outlet in question won't be around for much longer after A&W Malaysia’s former owners KUB Malaysia Bhd sold off the 0.42-hectare plot of land last year. A&W Malaysia’s new chief executive officer George Ang said in March that the fate of the Petaling Jaya drive-in remains unchanged and will be demolished by the end of 2019.    
Niranjan Mukundan, a 24 year old para swimmer from India recently made his country proud at the Norwegian Swimming Championships 2019 (Ado Cup). Niranjan took home not one but 5 gold medals in the swimming competition. He won in the 50 metre butterfly, 200 metre IM (Individual medley), 200 metre breaststroke, 100 metre freestyle and 50 metre breaststroke categories. His victory at the championship earned him an important milestone in his career, exceeding the 50 medals mark. However, his victory goes beyond the accolades he has earned over the years. Niranjan was born with spina bifida, a congenital malformation that is caused due to the malformation of the spine and the spinal cord. As a result, this has an effect on his physical and intellectual development. In fact, Niranjan had to undergo 17 surgeries when he was growing up. For instance, when he was only six years old, he had to undergo a 16-hour long operation to straighten his legs which was caused by muscle compression. The surgery required 32 metal rods to be inserted in his legs. His family was devastated. Doctors advised him to take up horse riding or swimming to aid his recovery. Eventually, Niranjan decided to take up swimming to improve his lower body movements. As a  TedTalk  guest speaker, he shared how his love for the sport began – “First, they put me in a bathtub. There, I was flapping my hands and legs, but when they put me outside, my legs weren’t moving. So, water became a very magical element in my life.” He was only eight years old at that time. Little did he know swimming was going to change his life forever. Lucky for him, his swimming abilities caught the attention of his coach, John Christopher, who spotted Niranjan’s incredible talent and encouraged him to try para sports. Niranjan was reluctant initially but after much persuasion he gave in. He represented Karnataka at the Nationals. Sadly, he lost the race and almost gave up. His coach pushed him to train harder, telling him – ‘patience and perseverance is going to take you higher.’ Thus, he started training harder by increasing his hours day by day. Three months later, he competed again. This time he finished first and won his first ever medal for the State. That was the exact moment he decided to become a para-athlete. Niranjan has come a long way since then. Aside from his recent victory, he was also the world junior champion at the 11th IWAS (International Wheelchair Amputee Sports) Junior Games at Stadskanaal in the Netherlands in 2015. In addition, he earned a bronze at the Asian Para Games in 2014 and is also a Limca Book of World Records inductee. Niranjan’s story of accomplishment shows us that ‘your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start’. As long as one is willing to put in the effort, the sky’s the limit!   Posted by John Tan   Read more  
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