'Blind' Indian man from Dubai chosen as one of Obama's advisers
A blind Indian man in Dubai is reportedly one of US President Barack Obama's advisers after he announced the new administrative appointments at the White House following his reelection.
Suraja Pavithran's visually-challenged son, Sachin Dev Pavithran, 34, both hailing from the Indian state of Kerela, was among the select few picked by Obama for an important job.
Sachin, who did his schooling in Dubai, has been appointed a member of the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board, an independent US agency devoted for people with disabilities, Gulf News reported.
"We never thought he would make it this big. I wish my husband was alive to share the joy," said Suraja, her voice choked with emotion.
Recalling the days when Sachin was struggling with his deteriorating eyesight, Suraja said she would spend hours reading out textbooks and notes to him.
"At that time all I was thinking was that he should pass the Board exams," Suraja said.
According to the report, Sachin was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosis when he was 6 years old, a degenerative eye disease that causes severe vision impairment and often blindness. He studied at the Gulf Indian High School in Dubai till Grade 10 and completed his Grades 11 and 12 from Our Own English High School before relocating to the U.S for higher education.
"To be honest, the main reason why I got where I am today is because of my mother's willingness and determination to read aloud all my textbooks till I completed schooling. Those days, there was no special accommodation for the disabled," Sachin said from Utah where he lives with his wife and three-year-old daughter.