Meet Vidisha Baliyan, the first-ever Indian to win the title of Miss Deaf World 2019.
IMAGE: Vidisha with Mr Deaf India Satnam Singh Seera. Photographs: Courtesy Vidisha Baliyan/Instagram
Vidisha Baliyan's life is the proof that every dark cloud has a silver lining.
The 22-year-old beauty queen from Uttar Pradesh has a hearing disability -- 100 per cent hearing loss in her right ear and 90 per cent in the left ear.
Earlier this week, she did India proud by being the first-ever Indian to win the title of Miss Deaf World 2019.
'Life is not partial to anyone,' she shares on Instagram. 'The time for everyone may differ, but everyone gets their due.'
'And though I am hard of hearing myself, I understand that every human, disabled or not, needs understanding and acceptance. Let’s all strive to make the world kinder,' she adds.
In the past Vidisha has represented India in Deaflympics and won a silver medal too. Scroll down to get to know her better.
IMAGE: Vidisha took on 11 finalists from 16 countries to win the title of Miss Deaf World 2019. 'My life is a proof that there is a reward for every struggle,' she says.
IMAGE: Vidisha poses with the other contestants at the pageant which took place in South Africa. According to her, 'Often the world tries to pull us in every direction. And we forget to see the direction of our heart. But to listen to this voice doesn't require ears, it requires willingness and silence. No matter what happened yesterday, forget it, start fresh today. That's what every heart wants.'
IMAGE: This win was extra special to Vidisha for many reasons. 'As a hearing-impaired child, from not hearing the doorbell to being ignored by people, I've seen it all,' she reveals, adding that tennis became as important as breathing for her. But then life gave her a second blow. She suffered a severe back injury. 'Unable to see a reason to live, I didn't give up because of the strength my family gave me. And in time, I was shown another way -- Miss Deaf India.'
IMAGE: 'I am blessed with a quality,' she says. 'If I put my mind to something, I don't measure the effort or time (put into it), 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 my hard work to overcome my ability to listen properly.'
IMAGE: Vidisha performing the tandav. 'Since a 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,' she reveals.
IMAGE: 'Tennis was my life, my friend and my confidante. Playing tennis was not just a sport for me, but an outlet for my unchanneled grief and isolation. I won countless tournaments, won two silver medals nationally and also stood 5th in the Deaflympics in Turkey 2017. Until, an unexpected back injury declared that I could no longer play. A severe blow to my confidence, self-esteem and happiness. For a while life felt pointless,' she adds. But life didn't want her to stop playing. 'It just wanted me to change my 'game'. And the new game was 'Miss Deaf India' and guess what, I won it fair and square!'
IMAGE: That's how she stays focused.