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