On March 15, 2021, Vidya Sagar conducted their first ever Endowment lecture on the occasion of completing their 36th year as an NGO. The Rising Flame Team was invited to be a part of this celebration. Our Founder- Executive Director Nidhi Goyal was asked to give the endowment lecture.
Nidhi Goyal began by talking about how her activism began, when she started noticing from a very young age the gender roles that were imposed on everyone, and voicing her opinions about them.
“Growing up as a disaabled person, I learned that people always foreground your disability as the biggest challenge of your life when that may not be true. When you are disabled, non disabled people around you think they know more about your disability than yourself. I can only imagine my parents’ trauma when I acquired my disability- not because they thought differently of me or didn’t want me, but because of how society looks at disabled people.” – Nidhi Goyal, Vidya Sagar Endowment Lecture
She spoke about how disabled people are always forced to prove that we are independent, despite the fact that everyone lives in a community and finds strength from depending on each other. She addressed how we glorify the efforts that disabled people put in to navigate an inaccessible world, all the while, society shirks away the responsibility of removing the barriers and creating an enabling environment for everyone. She said, how disabled people have to fight for rights that are usually taken for granted by everyone else.
She shared, “My mentors and sisters in the disability movement and everyone else I have worked with within the movement have really helped me find a community, and understand and address my own internalised stigma.”
A management degree teaches you that change is constant, being a leader is important, and that you need a team to work and thrive. Nidhi Goyal says how she learnt all of these things and more from being disabled instead.
Our tweet thread to the lecture is here.