Image via Lingeson Lechamanan and TEDxTalks/YouTube
Being in your 20s is a pretty fun thing. You’re old enough to have your own freedom and launch your career, yet young enough to not have to worry about financial burdens and illnesses. However, it didn’t go quite as planned for Lechamanan Sunnasamy, who’s one of the unsung heroes in the DIGIyin Saathanai Hero-kkal campaign.
When he was 20, Lechamanan got involved in a car accident that took away his sight. Just like that, he was no longer able to see his loved ones and found himself alone in the darkness. The sudden dramatic change in his life was so difficult to cope with, he went into depression and was admitted into a mental hospital.
Eventually, with professional help and a lot of determination, he pulled himself out of that dark hole and began to rewrite his life. He enrolled at the Malaysian Association for the Blind, where he learned how to read Braille. With that skill and having saved enough money for a Braille typewriter, he found a job as a telephone operator and continued working until his retirement 42 years later!
Braille is a form of writing language for the blind, where you ‘read’ with your fingers. (Image via Myriam Zilles/Pixabay)
Throughout all that hardship, Lechamanan was able to make a living for himself and start a family too! Together with his wife—who is also visually impaired, they raised two sons and are capable of living independently.
Today, the man, who’s in his late 70s, is spending most of his time helping others. With his son Lingeson, they formed Blindsight, a self-funded social enterprise that sees them travelling around Malaysia giving motivational talks and participating in upskill programmes. Using his story, Lechamanan hopes to inspire others to also push their limits and live their best lives.
Lechamanan inspiring others with his life story. (Image via Lingeson Lechamanan)
Lechamanan and his son, Lingeson. (Image via Lingeson Lechamanan)
Lechamanan’s story of redemption is so inspiring that he’s also regularly featured in the local media. More recently, he was invited to share his story at the popular TEDx Talks last year:
So, the next time you’re having a bad day, think of Mr Lechamanan and how he managed to turn his life around. If he can defeat tragedy, what’s our excuse for not doing our best too?
As part of the DIGIyin Saathanai Hero-kkal campaign, we’re constantly looking to share stories of Malaysian ‘superheroes’ that live amongst us.
Image via RAAGA
If you know a hero or if you have an inspirational story about overcoming challenges, we’d love to hear from you. Just submit your story at raaga.my/oap/2020/digi-unsung-hero/home or click the image above.