By Yohan P Chawla
On a lazy Sunday afternoon when most people are relaxing at home, Tanya Computer Centre was felicitating its fresh batch of specially-abled visually challenged students, trained in basic computers and MSCIT, a course recognized by the Government of Maharashtra.
It wasn’t one of the usual Media-Advertising-Marketing-related initiatives. This was a truly special event from the Madison Resource Foundation-backed Tanya Computer Centre (TCC), which is dedicated exclusively to training visually challenged people of all ages in the use of Computers. And is led by Tanya Balsara, daughter of the eminently respected Industry leader, Madison Chairman Sam Balsara. Tanya personally trains all the students. And like every one of them, she too is visually challenged.
So it was a very special honour to speak and connect briefly with the lady who has chosen to dedicate herself to helping many students over the years to acquire a life-changing training and there-through, the ability and skill that has given them great and relevant professional abilities that have redefined their lives with the ability to support themselves.
“This is our twelfth convocation,” Tanya told me.” I am absolutely speechless. I was very touched by listening to all the students and supporters speak at the ceremony today.
“Every convocation is special, but this one would be one of the most memorable for me.”
This year, a total of 16 students were felicitated. TCC has trained over 250 students since inception. The course allows these specially-abled people to be self-sufficient in life.
It has been a long journey of relentless commitment for the inspirational Tanya. She said, “We have been driving TCC since 2006 to improve the lives of many people. I am so happy to see the number of people who have turned up on a Sunday afternoon. It’s a wonderful feeling, difficult to describe in words.”
Reflecting on how TCC came into existence Tanya said, “So I have done my basic computer course in the year 2000 at IABH, South Mumbai. A few years later someone contacted me to see if I would be willing to help him by teaching him basic computers; he was a person with Down’s Syndrome. And during the process of helping and teaching him, we thought of actually starting a centre for basic computer coaching in a more structured way so that more people could benefit from it. And that is how we started TCC for the visually impaired.”
Tanya Computer Center uses a screen reading software called JAWS that helps the visually challenged use computers. With the help of tactile books, and notes in Braille, audio or large print, as per the requirement of a student, TCC facilitates the course.
And wait. The wonderfully inspiring Tanya Balsara wants to do much more. “We want to expand TCC by setting up new centres across Mumbai. We are looking for like-minded individuals who would be willing to take our noble objective to the next level.”
I came away from the TCC convocation, happy that I could experience Tanya’s happiness and her thoughts, and convinced that the least we can do — as a publication that reaches leaders, executives and aspirants and students across Media, Marketing, Advertising and more — is to spread the word so that hopefully many more people can be similarly inspired to stretch and rise above whatever challenges that might surround them, to help and serve society.
Indeed, Tanya Balsara is a tremendous inspiration for all.