Rohini Bhutekar was born blind to a low income family in Jalna, Maharashtra. Despite the lack of awareness around living life with blindness in her community, and coming from a village, Rohini aspired to study and become independent.
Initially she went to a special school for blind girls where she studied till Class 8. Afterwards, her teachers encouraged her to go to Mumbai for higher education in mainstream institutions. Rohini followed other blind girls and against all odds, she came to Mumbai.
So far she studied in vernacular medium but from Class XI onwards, education was imparted via English medium, helping her acquire language skills that would prove useful. She was thoroughly interested in literature and even though she pursued her graduation and MA in Hindi literature, she indulged in Marathi and English literature.
She also took some English training lessons to brush up her communication skills and articulation. When she met with the Eyeway counsellor in Mumbai, she expressed her interest in seeking a job. Looking at her confidence and conversational ability, the counsellor encouraged Rohini to look for language trainer roles.
Incidentally there was an opening for an English teacher with Desai Foundation in Mumbai. Rohini appeared for the interview and was immediately selected for the job. Today she is gainfully employed and she conducts offline English lessons for other persons with disabilities. She hopes to boost their skills and confidence for independent living, just as she has done for herself.
Rohini’s determination to succeed is evident in her efforts. Most people assume that blind and visually impaired individuals lack any skills of interaction. But throughout her school and college, Rohini participated in extracurricular activities, sought additional skills and shaped her personality to belie the stereotypical image associated with blindness.