Bertha G Dkhar
Bertha G DkharBorn with an eye disease (Retinitis Pigmentosa), Bertha G Dkhar completely lost her eyesight while pursuing her Masters in Social Work in Bangalore. With that she also lost her dream of doing psychiatric social work and decided to return to her native place, Shillong. Unfortunately, all her efforts of getting a stable job there were futile. To find a meaningful livelihood, she applied for a teaching job in a school, but was denied as people were apprehensive that a blind person could perform a job successfully. Bertha’s struggle for a normal’ life saw her doing odd jobs such as selling jams and pickles. Surrounded by insensitivity from the community, she decided to dedicate her life to provide educational opportunities to the visually impaired. She invented the Braille code in Khasi – a major tribal language of Meghalaya, and was awarded the Padma Shri for her unique model of schooling.
Limits in life are only self-imposed. When her hope of living a regular life dimmed with blindness setting in, Bertha was absolutely disheartened. Undeterred by receiving no support from anywhere including the Meghalaya Government, Bertha was convinced that she needed to carve her own destiny. Overcoming all the hardships, today Bertha runs a free school Jyoti Sroat School for the Visually Impaired, a unit of Bethany Society at Laitumkhrah, Shillong that provides a new lease of life to over 100 blind students.
“I am proud to be a woman because my creator believe that the work I am doing can be done best by a female heart and I am proud to work for that belief”