On 3 December 2014 we were celebrating the International Day of Persons with Disabilities and the efforts of people with disabilities, who challenge and overcome the barriers they face. What made this day even more special was the national role model award being given to Rajani Gopalkrishna, a valued member of the cbm family.
Rajani Gopalkrishna was the first female chartered accountant with visual impairment in India. She is working with cbm India since 2012 heading finance, legal and administration.
When Rajani was nine years old she was affected by “Steven Johnson syndrome”. She gradually lost her sight, and she became blind when she was 24 and worked hard to complete her studies. With limited vision, she graduated in commerce and then completed the Intermediate Chartered Accountancy course in the year 1994. Education became more challenging as she climbed the ladder. As all study materials were in hard copies, she was forced to discontinue higher studies.
In the year 2001, Rajani resumed her education with the help of computers. With the assistance of friends and tutors, she converted all study materials to soft copies and used screening software to access them. In 2003, she cleared the examination with help of a scribe and became the first female Chartered accountant with visual impairment.
Rajani is of the opinion that “For everyone, education is the most important factor for growth and it has the power make everyone at par.” According to her “Working in cbm India, a leading disability and development organisation as Senior Manager has provided me opportunities to blend my profession, as well as my personal goal - to support persons with disabilities. As the organisation is well aware of the needs of persons with disabilities in the working environment, it has provided all assistance required to work as independently as possible.”
The National Role Model Award
In 1969, the Government of India approved a scheme for giving National Awards to outstanding employers of persons with disabilities as well as the most inspiring employees.
Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment gives 36 awards under 13 categories to recognise efforts in the area of disabilities. Every year the President of India gives away these awards on World Disability Day. The Role Model Award is given to five persons with disabilities - those who have overcome their barriers and made substantial achievements in their life.
The entire cbm family is proud to have Ms. Rajani Gopalakrishna amongst us and congratulate her for this outstanding achievement!