WBU-AP(Senior group) Fine Work
“HOW BRAILLE HAS MADE ME SUCCESSFUL IN LIFE”
Myanmar Daw Byar Mee(29/female)

Before I knew anything about Braille (which I later discovered to be the language of the blind), I had no idea of what was black or white nor what was wrong or right.I just seemed to be completely lacking in commonsense and the power of reasoning.
Then one day, out of the blue, Braille suddenly came into my life.Since then, Braille has been the most significantand best friend I have ever had.
I was born in a remote and hilly region of Myanmar; it was a backward area and lagged behind the other regions of the country with regards to economic development, social affairs, health, education and general knowledge.My family was very poor and I lost my eyesight at the age of two.As I grew up, I often heard the saying, "Being blind is like losing life, being deaf is like being defeated".I felt helpless and useless and my life plunged into darkness.I was very sad and every day I wondered whether I was the only blind human being in this world.I was in great despair and discouragement.Life seemed hopeless and meaningless and I was just existing with a dead soul.
Then one day good news came to the village where I lived.We were informed that there was a school for the blind where they learned a special language called Braille.By using this special language, a country girl like me would have the opportunity to go to school.
The moment I felt the pin, Braille frame and special paper for brailling, a great joy came into my heart.Nothing could take the place of this new found happiness.The new language of Braille made me feel alive again.I experienced a wonderful sense of hope and extra vitality because now life had a meaningful purpose.This was truly beyond my dreams and expectations.
There are more than six hundred thousand blind people in Myanmar but only about five hundred of them have the opportunity to learn Braille.I am certainly one of the lucky ones.Because of Braille, I no longer suffer from an inferiority complex.
According to the culture of Myanmar, education is not important for girls and women.As a result, many female children have been denied the right to go to school.The situation was even worse for girls who were blind.Fortunately for me, I could pursue my education equally with other sighted people because of Braille.
In fact, it was Braille that made it possible for me to further my education after leaving school.I enrolled as a university student.There were thousands of students and I could feel all attention focused upon me as I did my brailling with the pin and Braille frame.I could hear their expressions of surprise as they watched my hand moving so rapidly.
With my new confidence, I now dared to venture out into the world.I went to lots of places to fulfill the interest of my life - I dared to put up singing performances.I sang in front of big audiences and told them about Braille and the school for the blind.Thanks to Braille, I told them I was no longer a neglected person in society but I was admired by many.
In my case, I am now literate and so I am no longer blind even though I am visually impaired.Indeed, I dare not think what I would have been without Braille.Perhaps I would have been a beggar and my life would have been very miserable.Because of Braille which enabled me to have a good education, I have been saved from a life of depression, stress and terrifying circumstances.
In order to enjoy the light, one must be able to overcome the darkness of night.Truly, I have passed through the darkest hour of night but Braille has brought me warmth and brightness so that the beauty of flowers could bloom in my life.
It was Braille that made it possible for me to shoulder many duties at school.Later it gave me the opportunity to be elected as a member of the Central Committee of the Myanmar National Association of the Blind.Therefore, I was able to stand on my own two feet and, more importantly, I now have the ability and the skills to help other blind people.
I am fully aware with a thankful heart that I owe my life to Louis Braille.His unforgettable contribution to mankind has enabled blind people like myself to lead a life that is successful and that has meaning, dignity and fun through helping others who are less fortunate. I must say once again, Braille has changed and transformed my life.


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