Recently, Vidisha Baliyan, a 21-year-old girl from Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar city, was crowned Miss Deaf World 2019. The event took place in Mbombela, South Africa on July 22, where Vidisha bagged the title among 11 finalists from 16 participating countries.
Taking to Instagram to express the multitude of emotions she went through, she briefly shared her story.
From facing discrimination as an individual with impaired hearing, to finding her strength as a tennis player, she said,
From not hearing the doorbell to being ignored by people, I’ve seen it all. But after seeing a meteoric rise in my sports career as a tennis player who earned the 5th rank in ‘Deaflympics’, tennis became as important as breathing.
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Crowned Miss Deaf World 2019 👑. My emotions fall short to express the joy and contentment of making my country proud 🇮🇳🇮🇳🇮🇳🇮🇳. . . . . @narendramodi @ritagangwani_official @marwahstudios @sabyasachiofficial #MMDW #AIDACS #mahavirinternational @suhana_art_and_jewels @ganeshvyas & @sandiiahluwalia40 @wheelinghappiness
She added that after a severe back injury she struggled to find a reason to live. But then, in the form of ‘Miss Deaf India’ life showed her another way. As a novice to the world of beauty and fashion, she diligently learned what she had to and how.
I am blessed with a quality – if I put my mind to something then I don’t measure efforts or time, I give it my all. Whether it’s dancing, basketball, swimming, tennis or yoga, I never slack in my efforts. Maybe as a disabled child I learnt to overcompensate by my hard work to overcome my ability to listen properly.
In another post, elated, Vidisha shared how it feels to finally be heard in a society that takes you for granted-
And when my time came the whole world went in a blur and I remain in the focus…Feeling seen, heard and paid attention to – something which is very hard for a disabled person to experience in the society that judges harshly. (sic)
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And when my time came the whole world went in a blur and I remain in the focus…Feeling seen, heard and paid attention to – something which is very hard for a disabled person to experience in the society that judges harshly. @wheelinghappiness #hearingimpaired #empower #disabled #missdeafworld2019 #winner #crown #dreamcometrue #airport #welcome #indian #missdeafworld #specialmoments #peagentmirror #wonit
In the talent round, she performed Tandav. She shared pictures of her captivating routine, adding that so what if she could not hear the rhythm or the sounds, dancing will always be dear to her.
Performing tandav, which is a vigorous dance form by Hindu God Lord Shiva. Since my young age I’ve loved dancing though I couldn’t hear the rhythm, melody or sounds clearly. To dance, one needs fire in their heart and soul, and music in their spirit.
Vidisha’s positive attitude and ability to one-up obstacles life throws at her is truly admirable.
Winning the title is just the beginning of the dream. There are many people with hearing-impaired conditions who are extremely talented and deserve opportunities. As Robert Frost famously said, ‘Miles to go before I sleep.’
You can follow her journey here.