Prem Sagar and Deepika with their daughter Sukhmani in Jalandhar.
Photo: Sarabjit Singh

Deepkamal Kaur

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, October 12
 Having met each other about 12 years ago and fallen in love, it took
Prem Sagar (49) and Deepika (44) almost seven years to convince their
families that despite their similar visual disability, they would be
able to manage their lives well together.
 While Prem Sagar is a lecturer of music at HMV College, his better
half works with NGO Saksham that is into making talking books for
visually impaired students.
 Now with a four-year-old school-going daughter Sukhmani Grover, the
couple looks back and recalls how they together overcame all oddities
in life always putting up a very brave face. “The biggest tension in
my life was when I conceived soon after our marriage. I prayed day in
and day out that our child does not inherit our sight problem. It was
her 12th day when her paediatrician confirmed to me that Sukhmani
probably has normal eyesight. And then the ultimate satisfaction came
with a final confirmation as she turned three-four months and started
responding to our actions”, shared Deepika.
 Deepika adds on, “Our vision problems are not the same. While I
suffer from glaucoma, Prem Sagar had retina pigmentosa. We met during
a workshop at National Association for Blind in 2004 and since then
had been in contact with one another, till we got married in November
Deepika’s mother Kusum puts up with the couple and takes care of the
household and even the child while the twosome is away for work. “My
mom has been a great support but I try to manage most work on my own
after I am back. I even try to help Sukhmani with her homework most of
the times. I am getting her books converted in a new format that even
describes the illustrations so that I can know her syllabus and teach
her well even when my mom is not there. As she sits for homework with
her granny, I too join them so that I know what she has been getting
for her homework.”
Prem Sagar adds up, “We cannot help her with colouring work or check
if she is writing her work neatly in proper lines. We may be trying to
overcome all problems but there still remain a few.”
Deepika shares her mind, “Whenever my mom is not around, Sukhmani gets
little pensive as she once asked me who will cook for us, who will
help me with work. But now she is confident that she can pull on
independently with us. I do not want her to have it in her mind that
we are a liability on her for it can have detrimental effect on her
psychology. I always try to show her that I can manage everything
myself, look up for lost things on my own and take care of her quite

Avinash Shahi
Doctoral student at Centre for Law and Governance JNU

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