A sneak peek into the life of a girl who defied all the odds

This little girl could not differentiate between ‘b’ and ‘d’, can’t tell between left and right even today, was bad at mathematics and had a constant fear of sitting in the front row of the class.

“When I was growing up, I could sense that there was something wrong. I could not reason it out, as many of these conditions were unknown, and neither was there any awareness. For me, reading out loud in class as a kid was very difficult; my legs used to tremble whenever it came to me reading the book. Later I realized that I was dyslexic.” 

Meet Shilpa Rao, currently the Head of AI-powered Products & Platforms at TCS.

She was often labelled as dumb or sometimes an absent-minded child. At that point in time, she decided not to go in her life that way. 

Parents to rescue

Her mother started waking up early in the morning to let her read and revise her lessons. Her father encouraged her to participate in every extracurricular activity. 

For him, the learning that comes is more important than winning. Now she had friend circles with different ideas, which gave her the courage to experiment with things. Her habit of ‘note-making’ – noting word by word became a savior.  

“It’s a myth that dyslexia goes away with age. I still have different nail paints to find out right and left. I know dyslexia is something which cannot be recognised at a glance, but the quality of being sensitive doesn’t cost you money, right? One in five kids has dyslexia today; labelling us with these tags destroys our confidence. It’s important to understand what a person goes through.”


The only reason I’m sharing this story of mine is to give a ray of hope. Even if a single person gets inspired, that’s enough for me. 

Shilpa Rao said, “People like me with dyslexia need to accept this condition, avoid looking at the nuances only, work on your strengths, and experiment as much as you can – trust me, the sky’s the limit for you.”

When ordinary people do extraordinary wonders, UPDEED aims at getting their voices heard and efforts recognized. With us, change-makers can share positivity, get acknowledged, and influence others.

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