Features Thursday, June 04, 2015 - 05:30
  Deepika Sudarshan   She was 6-months-old when doctors at NIMHANS, Bengaluru, diagnosed her hearing impairment and advised her parents to move to Chennai, where education was better for the hearing impaired. Her parents are hearing impaired too- so was her maternal grandfather- and the family, which was then living in Delhi, moved to Chennai to ensure she got a proper education.   Deepika Sudarshan’s life may have begun on an odd note, but the now 26-year-old has beaten all odds to conquer her dreams- of becoming a chartered accountant.   “I was enrolled in the same school where my mother and grandfather had studied,” writes Deepika in a conversation over email with The News Minute.    “I am very optimistic & always believe in my ability no matter what the circumstances are.”   A school topper, Deepika knew she wanted to do something challenging in life, something which would test her abilities and help her grow as an  individual.     “After my Class 12 Board exams, I learnt that most of the people like me were pursuing regular degree courses, such as BCom, BCA, etc. So I decided that I wanted to pursue something different and challenging,” she writes.   Chartered accountancy fit the bill perfectly for Deepika.     The school Deepika studied in.    She started her CA course simultaneously with a course in BCom. Her three-and-a-half-years articleship at an audit firm not only gave her practical knowledge and industry exposure, but also boosted her confidence. After a brief stint with another audit firm, Deepika landed her first job in the corporate sector.   She joined Cognizant Finance, where she is now holds the position of Executive, Finance in the Revenue team.   Describing her first day at work she writes, “I was a bit scared initially. I interacted with the others by writing in a note pad or chatting on Office  Messenger. But now I have settled here and I interact through sign language, lip reading and by writing.”   “My impairment never comes in the way of my work.”   As determined she is, Deepika is also very clear about her goals and priorities in life. Her present job will help her gain experience in the corporate sector, but her love lies in auditing.   She writes, “I want to start my audit firm or work in another firm or do consultancy business.  My passion lies in audit related works. But first I have to consider the feasibility of starting on my own due to communication barriers with clients.”   Though Deepika has had to cross many a hurdles in her life to reach where she is today, she feels one of the most trying phases was during her CA preparation as there were no separate coaching classes for the hearing impaired. “I could not understand anything they taught,” she writes, adding that help from her friend and family, her experience during the article ship, and belief in herself helped her clear the exams in 2012.    The day she cleared her CA final exams, the day which was a culmination of years of hardwork, became the proudest moment of her life. Deepika is reportedly south India's first hearing impared chartered accountant.    When she is not working, Deepika likes to practice Bharatnatyam, another passion. One could also find her glued to a screen watching English TV series with subtitles during her spare time, her all time favourite being "FRIENDS".   Someday Deepika wants to tutor kids like herself to realise their dreams. Just like she has.   “Those like me often told me that I must have lost my mind to have joined a CA course. They doubted whether I could clear the exams because according to them, it was impossible. But I was never discouraged, as I believed in myself. That’s what keeps me going. My confidence is my strength, so is my family,” writes Deepika, who looks up to Hellen Keller for inspiration.   Also read: Road doctor: The Hyderabad man who quit his job to fix potholes with his pension money  
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