Success story of India’s First Visually Impaired Chartered Accountant

Rajni Gopal is India’s first visually impaired woman to become a Chartered Accountant. Currently working with India’s leading software companies, it has taken Rajani immense grit, perseverance and patience to reach where she stands.

Rajani Gopal has come a long way after losing her eye sight. She treads on paths that make even sighted people think twice before taking up. Behind this chartered accountant, Veena player and social worker, lies a determined woman who has defied all logic when it comes to success. Let’s talk to Rajani Gopal and find out more about her.

You work with a reputed IT company. Tell us about your job profile.

I work in the Finance Department. My profile is to work on Indian & U.S.A. Generally Accepted Accounting Practices.

Where were you working before your current assignment? How did you get this break?

I was working for Indian Group of Hotels as Community co-ordinator. I had sent my bio-data to the placement cell of I.C.A.I. and that is how I got this break.

How have you adjusted to your work environment and how have your colleagues responded.

It has been comfortable to adjust to work environment as I am quite versatile on computers. Moreover my work to a large extent is on those applications that extensively support screen reading software.

My colleagues respond very sensibly. There is no discrimination of any sort. Now they know when I need assistance and come forward to give the same. The work atmosphere is very comfortable and friendly.

blind-ca1Becoming a C.A. is a tough task even for sighted people. As a blind person what motivated you to take up this subject and how did you manage?

That is what many told me when I thought of taking up C.A. as a career. But let me tell you, determination and commitment can help you achieve those milestones which seem difficult otherwise.

I lost vision in my right eye by the time I completed my graduation. I faced few interviews where my candidature was not considered because of my vision problem. I realised that I should have a better education to get a decent and dignified job. At this juncture I came to know about Chartered Accountancy. By this time I had learnt to pursue my studies on my own. I thought if I can pursue B.Com on my own then why not C.A.?

Of course, pursuing the course was not easy. It would be difficult for me to read for long time. I had to read keeping the book close to my eyes. Commuting was also quite difficult. For a moment my spirits would be shattered. But I would realise that this is not the way to tackle a problem. I will have to find out ways and means of solving this. I would read for sometime and then close my eyes and try to recollect whatever I would have studied. This way I was not wasting my time and was also giving rest to my eyes, which I needed the most. As far as commuting was concerned, I would prefer to walk short distances, as catching the public transport was difficult. For long distances, invariably I would take the public transport. It was quite risky but I had to take the calculated risk.

After I lost vision in my left eye too, I had to look for means to continue my studies and clear my examinations. But the important hurdle was to accept that I am visually challenged. This did take some time as I would relate myself with my friends who either had a good job or were happily married. I realised that I should come out of this trauma. Sahaja Yoga meditation came to my rescue. The meditation gave the overall balance which I needed the most. I realised that I should accept the situation and go ahead, instead of brooding. I came to know about the screen reading software and learnt how to use computers. My urge to pursue the course was rekindled. I got all the materials converted to soft copy and started studying. For few subjects I took the assistance of volunteers. I also had to learn how to communicate with the scribe, as I was availing scribe facility for the first time.

What are the special assistive tools you use for help at work? Especially when tackling numbers.

As I have already mentioned, I extensively use computers with screen reading software. My assignment does not include going through any written documents. By using Excel and other M.S. Office applications, I am able to manage my job quite comfortably.

How did you develop your eye problem?

I was prescribed penicillin tablets for common cold. This was given without test dosage and resulted in an allergic reaction which in medical terminology is known as “Steven Johnson Syndrome”. My vision started deteriorating gradually. This was coupled with growth of eye lashes inside the eyes which would constantly itch. I had to visit the doctor almost twice a week to get the lashes plucked. But the damage to the cornea was done and doctors were helpless.

Tell us a bit about your school and college days.

Early school days were as any other normal child. After the allergy, things changed. Because of redness in the eyes, quite a few classmates would avoid me. I had to hear to lot of sympathies from relatives and friends. It would be very difficult to listen. I would try to be all alone by myself. I developed the habit of reading to overcome my loneliness. Initially I would cry and weep. As I grew up I didn’t feel like doing that, for I knew that my parents would be disturbed. I learnt to keep all my emotions to myself. I had very few friends.

At my college things were little different. I was matured enough to handle the situation. I did have friends who were sensible enough. In fact in the final year of my graduation, my friends would write the notes for me, get the books from library, for I couldn’t attend the college due to surgery on my right eye.

What kind of support did you get from family and friends?

There was complete support from my immediate family members. Neither my parents nor my brothers made me to feel at any point of time that I had vision problem. My parents would encourage me in all my ventures as they would encourage my brothers. Even after I lost my vision completely, they would behave as if nothing had happened and gave me all the emotional support.

Though I had very few friends, they were quite sensible and helped me whenever I needed them most. Moreover they would boost my confidence and behave as they would with other “normal” friends.

What are your interests and hobbies?

As already mentioned, I practice meditation-Sahaja Yoga. I enjoy cooking. I play chess. I have learnt to play Veena. I listen to lot of music. I volunteer my services to physically, visually and economically challenged students by providing assistance in their studies.

Tell us any interesting experience you’d like to share.

There have been quite a lot of experiences which have moulded my personality.

As my vision deteriorated gradually, I could see the helplessness of doctors and my parents. At such heart breaking moments, each mile stone in my education would motivate me to go further.

But if you want to know of any particular incident that changes the course of my life, I feel this is it.

Around the time when I lost vision in both my eyes, my father was diagnosed with Leukaemia. It was the prime age of my life and with all confusion I was totally lost and mentally upset. One evening when I just couldn‘t control my emotions, my brother recommended me meditation. He advised that I should do it with open mind and take as hypothesis. I could see within a week that my overall personality was in complete balance and I obtained the necessary confidence and inner strength which I needed the most and which any amount of external counselling wouldn’t have done.

Now I feel, everything that happened was with some purpose and has helped me become a better person move ahead in life with greater strength and confidence

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27 Responses to Success story of India’s First Visually Impaired Chartered Accountant

  1. Selvan says:

    Here, it is more relevant to quote the Thirukkural saying which is published in the page no.4 of Dr.A.P.J.Abdul Kalam’s ‘India 2020″:

    If those who think to achieve,
    Have a firm and focused mind,
    They will realize what they thought of,
    And even as they have thought of.

    Charted Accountancy Examination (India) is said to be one of the toughest professional examinations in India and the topper in the final examination gets higher pay in the first placement itself every year than his counterpart in other professional courses.

    In the above success story, the following three things touched my heart:
    1)Rajni Gopal is not a blind person since her birth.She lost her eye-sight only after graduation.Under these circumstances, a ordinary person would have wallowed in self-pity.It requires a lot of vision (mental) to decide to go for CA.
    2)She was availing the scribe facility in the CA examinations for the first time in the history of the CA examinations.
    3)The tragic truth that her father was diagonised with leukaemia did not dampen her spirit.

    Plato once said that the first and best victory is to conquer self.This inspiring real story of Ms.Rajni Gopal shall certainly help us to realise the truth that we can achieve everything we want to achieve in this world with our strong determination,single mindedness and hardwork.

    I thank Shri.A.Hari for posting such a motivating piece of information in this blog.

  2. Akriti Gupta says:

    This is one of the most inspiring things i have ever come across….. here i would like to share that i am also persuing C.A. but unlike Rajni, i am perfect as far as my physical health is concerened…..

    I have always been a topper & Have had immense support from my family… they have provided me with best of the luxuries both in monetary terms & emotional terms…. Yet, recently when my C.A final result came out & i couldn’t clear…. for the first time in my life i had failed in something & i wasn’t able to handle it…. days i spent crying & wishing that this shouldn’t have happened after doing all the hard work….

    This is when my freind forwarded the link of this amazing story….

    Truly it is a kind of life altering moment for me…. Rajni has become my inspiratin & i thank Shri. A .Hari for posting this amazing story & also my freind for forwarding this to me….

  3. D.A.Darekar says:

    Amazing this like 9th wonder for Indians to have grate inspiration idol

  4. ravinder sharma says:

    sometime i loose my heart for hard work, patience and commitment.. with RAJNI , you have given me a powerful dose by proving it that there is nothing impossible in this world.

  5. S. SUGUMARAVEL says:

    I was very much moved while reading the Post. I find no words to express my feeling on the achievements of my sister Ms. Rajni Gopal. I think, she will be the role model for all the future C.A. aspirants. May God bless her in the rest of her life also.

    With regards,

  6. Definitely this story is inspiring for all of us.

  7. Ravish Thakur says:

    This is very encouraging…this story should be linked to ICAI’s website.

  8. sangam says:

    Amazing this like 9th wonder for Indians to have great inspiration idol

    • pranoti says:

      in race of life,hurdles to be come over.i was depressed ,i am also thinking that my friends get forward and i am here. i am CA student 3 years will be required to settle down if i pass. My friends already doing jobs.but inspiration from soul or bottom heart is the thing which can change us.your story has given me emotional support.thanks a lot. I am waiting for the day when i’ll be successful CA as you.

  9. ravikumar says:

    Wow this is the most inspring story for everyone to read. Thank you very much for this article. I have posted this article on, for persons like me who are having a go at CA. I have given the link to this website, Hats off.

  10. Surbhi says:

    I really appreciate Miss Rajni for her success. My sister is also facing the same problem. Would it be possible for Rajni to contact me on my mail id, or if I can contact her personally or she gives me her mail id?

  11. Ankur Singhal says:

    I have no words to thanx. I too much inspire by this.
    Mrs. Rajni prove that Nothing is impossible.

  12. s.vijay anand says:

    Dear,Rajni, you are real superstar for those,who,lose hearts & confidence in any Professional Exams. My Hearty congrats & Hats off to you. Let,the fire be always present in your Mind & not in your heart.You Are to be treated as one of the most valuable person of this country,and let our country be proud of you.

  13. syed nooruddin says:

    Ms.rajni is really an inspiration ,not only for future C.A. but for every student. I was thinking of doing C.A. but who ever i had asked they replied that it is very difficult, i wanted to withdraw of doing but after coming to know about ms.rajni i was really moved & now i have decided to do it….

  14. rehan says:

    you have been an inspiration for me.your success had made me envy.i wish that i would also have been a blind then i also could have reached upto your goals…

  15. kalidas says:

    Less qualified but more inspired with a note of best wishes in her rest of life – Kalidas

  16. rahulpanwar says:

    This is best story to inspire any visually impaired person i always remember this story because i also feel the things which happened to you.

  17. rahulpanwar says:

    i am also visually impaired person i want to make a visually impaired person a friend i am currently study in delhi university

  18. changeminds says:

    Kindly contact Score foundation at the following address. This foundation helps and inspires visually impaired persons.

    A. Hari

  19. Sujeetha says:

    Hats off to Rajni!
    Hers is a real success story of grit and courage.We should all take inspiration from her.

  20. rahul panwar says:

    Thanks sir for this inspiration story this story should me a milestone in near future for visually impaired person

  21. rahul kumar says:

    jaw screen reading software and kinddle 2.0 notebook open all door of fields today every thing possible for blinds

  22. geetha says:

    Hi,really u r so great person in this world.i pray to god to give good life for ever.all the best

  23. Thanks, Hari, for sharing this truly inspirational story.

  24. raman kumar arora says:

    Amazing to know about CA Rajani Gopal i salute her.

  25. you can contact me at +91 95694 55505 to make a strong networking for welfare and awareness related purposes. – Raman Arora

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