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Today’s SILVER LINING
“It is only you, who undoubtedly possesses the power to focus upon the Silver Lining behind every cloud that may shadow your life ever”!
Preeti Monga
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The Journey - Preeti's Story
uncover the real you!

Preeti's autobiography, called
'THE OTHER SENSES',
has been published by Roli Books!
You may like to read about her complete
action-packed life!
THE OTHER SENSES
The book can be bought at the link below: www.rolibooks.com

 

Preeti is founder Trustee of Silver Linings Foundation. In addition she is a celebrated Motivation Speaker, an accomplished Corporate Trainer, a Trauma Counselor, a Fitness Consultant, a PR Professional, a Disability Rights Activist, an Author, a successful Business Woman and specializes in business development and influencing all with her powerful and positive personality. .

She started out her adult life with matrimony and motherhood; which led this already visually impaired young woman into further adversity. Her skillfully developed fighting spirit and her burning desire to earn self-respect and freedom, steered her to become an Aerobic instructor (the first blind person to have taken this on as a career), and simultaneously worked as a computer and English teacher.

Here is her story in her own words.
 

Born in 1959, in the Holy city of Amritsar in India, found myself challenged with a major disability! Then, as I grew up, I discovered with in my soul, a burning desire of living life on my own terms! The wish to fulfill my dreams and aspirations and need to survive taught me to swim through this beautiful and bountiful world, aided efficiently by my other senses !

When I was in class 2, constant complaints from my teachers regarding my unwillingness to participate in written activities began to alarm my parents. A meeting with my teachers and their own confidence in my sincerity maneuvered them towards a thorough medical exam for me. This agonizing experience brought fourth my disability. The trauma that followed must have been nerve shattering for both my parents!

At this time we were stationed in the remote township of Agartala, the capital of Tripura, where medical and rehabilitation services were scarce. My parents simply had no idea as to what they must do next. They definitely had the option of admitting me to a school for the blind, but this, fortunately for me, made them shudder. As the condition of these scarce institutions was even then more than appalling so they continued to bring me up as they were doing.

I was taught everything, only it was done in a way I was able to grasp and absorb the knowledge being imparted. For example, mummy would close her own eyes and develop her special style of doing particular activities, and then she would teach me the same; so as to enable me to quickly learn without the aid of eyesight all that I needed to know. Thus, life began to move forward sprinkled lavishly with more than my share of challenges, but embraced between the arms of encouragement and love, I trotted along the bumpy road of life with extraordinary enthusiasm.

The first major set back came along when I was thrown out of school at the end of class VIII on the pretext that I was blind. My formal education came to a stand still as no other regular school wanted to admit me even after great efforts of my parents. Blind schools were the only other option, which was unacceptable. Therefore I had no school to go to and stayed at home and was put to learning music. But as I did not have an aptitude for the same, I could never excel in it. And my dream was to become a world famous sitarist. This crashed in my face after I had put in 8 years of very hard labor!

Another of my big dreams was to get married to the man who would be the ideal friend, partner and an honest and sensitive human being. And, I would like you to get a glimpse of the torments I was subjected to, for simply daring to dream such a dream, only because I was blind.

Interestingly, boys / men most willingly chose me for their girl friend but they all took to their heels the moment they detected the slightest of risk of getting anywhere near a chance of tying the knot with me! An arrange marriage was out of the question, for normally, no man will willingly marry a blind girl. So, all that I got at this time was pitiful glances and suggestions that I marry a blind man or marry someone from a very poor background.

It was not as if I was against this idea; but, the man I would marry, most certainly had to fit the criteria of my dream husband. The advisers did not take to this favorably, "she should be grateful should anyone in the first place agree to marry her; instead, look at her audacity," they scorned, "she can't see a thing and expects the best in the world"! Thanks heaven, my parents stood their ground and made it clear that marriage for me would be entirely my own decision!

Then came the day I met my first husband. He seemed an extremely good person and we were married in the year 1982. Little did I know I had landed myself into the fire from the frying pan! The marriage was on the rocks right from the first night and before I could recover from this unexpected blow, I was a mother of two children. I kept trying to make things work but they only got worse.

By 1986, I knew I had to do something about getting the children and myself out of the mess we were in. To do this, I had to first become economically independent, and that meant finding employment. But what would I do? No one would give me a respectable job with a class 10 education! But my mind was set, I had to make my life livable, my children and I all deserved much better than this. Life only comes once and no one or nothing has the right to destroy it. My spirit was screaming for freedom and joy and I had to obey!

At that time the only skills I possessed were being a good homemaker and a reasonably good typist, and I had a very basic knowledge of music plus a disability. It took me a whole year of searching before I hit upon the idea of training to be an aerobic instructor.

In 1988, I opened my own classes and took the first steps towards self-dependence. It was very hard work but I enjoyed every bit of it, as I knew that this was the golden key to my freedom and joy! Keeping the rewards on top of my mind, enjoying the host of new experiences and relationships I encountered during the process of carving a new life for my children and myself, I began to unveil the powers I had within.

Note: Each one of us have been bestowed with the power that I am talking about, some of you must already be using it.

Step by step I learnt to face the outside world where lay the real challenges. When people discovered I was there competing for my place in the main stream, they made life even tougher for me. Why should a blind woman be walking shoulder to shoulder with capable non-defective humans? She can be bestowed with pity and charity but how can she be allowed to live along side, enjoying equal status with us? This still remains an uphill battle; one that I am a female and the other that I am a disabled one at that.

I do get a lot of appreciation on the surface but not many make life smooth for me. It is one thing to poor thing me and a completely different thing to acknowledge the fact that I am as good and at times better than them despite my disability. But again, I had been taught never to give up. "Try again and you will succeed". I just did that.

In 1993, I finally separated from my first husband. The children and I moved into my parent's home where I was once more undauntedly supported by both my parents and brother and sister-in-law. In 1994, I took up a full time job at the National Association for the Blind as a resource teacher. From there I moved on to getting a job of a Marketing and Sales Manager with a food marketing company. It was here that I met my second husband. Although he was almost 10 years younger to me, I knew he was the one I had been hunting for! We have been married since 1996, and this time there was no mistake. Once more the "try again..." saying made me a winner.

Today I have my own Not for profit organization called 'Silver Linings Foundation' , am a consultant with a number of reputed NGOs. Silver Linings Offers various services to the corporate sector; like: Manpower Recruitment, Corporate Trainings, plus CSR Advisory etc. We actively promote employment for people with disabilities as well. All such activities are targeted towards ultimately making Silver Linings a self sustainable organization.

The aim of The Silver Linings Foundation is to train, inspire and facilitate everyone, especially disabled and under privileged women find their own place in the world and move towards complete empowerment and success. Silver Linings is in addition working in the area of public health making a humble beginning to support the same via its fund raising activity of Medical Tourism. My mission is to reach out Globaly, to inspire and motivate people with "if I can do what I do, then so can all achieve the life of their own wildest of dreams"! For this, apart from all my other efforts, I have written my autobiography which has been published by Roli Books, called The Other Senses! am a proud mother of two children and a very happy grandmother of one. I have a wonderful husband, a loving family, a beautiful home and great friends in addition to a roaring business.

Look for the strength inside of you and stop worrying about what others will think of you... your dreams are awaiting you... simply stretch out your hand and grab them!