How I Got There: In Conversation with Tanya Balsara

CAP India’s blog features an interview with Tanya Balsara, CEO of Tanya Computer Center in Mumbai India.

010A - Tanya I met Tanya Balsara five years ago, while co-authoring my book, Cuisine for A Cause. If I hadn’t been told that she had a condition called Retinitis Pigmentosa, I would never have guessed that she was almost completely sightless. Warm, cheerful and living life to the fullest, her work embodies the phrase ‘our eyes are our window to the world’. Through her computer centre she offers the visually-impaired an opportunity to experience a whole new world. It’s both my pleasure and privilege to share her journey with you, in her own words – By Meher Gandevia-Billimoria

I founded Tanya Computer Centre because…having become computer literate myself from the  Indian Association for the Visually Handicapped, Churchgate, I realised that computers and the internet can open up a whole new world and I can make chutney of my handicap! A desire grew in me that I should afford this opportunity to others like me and thereby open up a new world for all of them too. I also had time on my hands, so I thought I would do the teaching myself.

When my dad came to know about this desire of mine, he helped me set up Tanya Computer Centre at MNB Home (full form) in Jogeshwari, Mumbai. Subsequently when MNB home stopped functioning, we decided to move the centre to an outhouse in our compound at home, where it functions today. I soon realised that for the visually-challenged, a knowledge of computers is also a boon because it can open up many new job opportunities for them and make people like me economically independent, which is so important in today’s world.

At the end of a typical day at the centre … I feel sometimes tired, but at most times great. It gives me immense satisfaction, especially after a test where students have performed well and great joy to share my knowledge with others.

Continue reading the entire interview on CAP India New