Ramadevi was diagnosed with polio when she was five years old, affecting her leg severely. Although she recalls that period as “horrible”, she has now overcome the past and the constraints of her disability and feels like she can achieve anything.
Aged 25 and hailing from Anantapur, Ramadevi is currently living and working in Bangalore. She studied Spanish at the Professional School of Foreign Languages of the Rural Development Trust (RDT).
Why did you decide to study in the Professional School?
At first I did not want to learn a second language. I didn’t understand how it could help me. However, after a few days at the Professional School, I could see how my Spanish and English speaking skills had evolved. This motivated me to keep studying and soon I realized the benefits of learning multiple languages. Today I have a job because of the communication and social skills I learnt at the Professional School.
How did studying here help you?
Before coming here I did not know how to communicate with people from other countries like our foreign teachers. I felt bad at first since I thought I would not be able to learn another language but with the continued support from my teachers and friends I was able to communicate properly and speak fluently towards the end. After learning Spanish I have become much more confident in myself. Even my parents are surprised when I talk to them now.
What is your job and what is your life like in Bangalore?
I have been working at an international company for 11 months now. I am in charge of transcribing and translating the complaints that the clients make from English to Spanish. These languages are essential to my work and I have to use both languages every day. In Bangalore, I live in a hostel just for girls. I go to the office Monday to Friday from 6:30 am to 4:00 pm. It is a great city to work in. On the weekends I like to go shopping or visiting my family.
Has your disability affected your development?
In the beginning, it was really hard. I used to feel horrible about my disability. However, my parents fought really hard for me to get an education and go to college. I don’t feel like my disability limits me anymore and now I can do whatever I want and go anywhere I want to go.”
Where do you see yourself in five years?
In five years I would like to be a team leader in my company.I feel like I have enough confidence to play that role and I could do it well. A leadership position, according to me, serves others and I think I would be able to support, guide and motivate my colleagues. Learning new languages has really helped me. If you obtain the necessary skills and develop yourself, you can find employment and improve yourself wherever you go.
Text: Irene G. Dugo