Life through the inner eyes of Hannah

Hannah (2L) with her family

Hannah is a special girl. It’s her unstinted courage and hope that always prompted her to look forward in life despite her blindness. There is perspective and preparation in every decision she makes. And these last few days have been filled with happiness—she topped the CBSE plus two examinations in the disabled category, her first book titled ‘Welcome Home’ got released and she also procured a scholarship to pursue higher studies abroad. It is her way of giving back to all those people who stood by her despite her disability. She is also grateful that they never spoiled her beyond a point.

One among us

Hannah Alice Simon who hails from Ernakulam is a motivational speaker, singer, music director, and author. She is also blind from birth. Her parents always encouraged her to be self-sufficient from a very young age. Her mother Lija who is a teacher at Don Bosco school and father Simon who works at a private firm always treated her as a normal child. Instead of a special school, they send her to a normal school. Till the 5th grade, she studied the braille language. For this, her mother first learnt the braille format. Hanna who had already learnt to write found it difficult to get a hang of the braille format. She took a lot of time to eventually master the braille language. Later she took the help of a computer for her studies.

Since Hannah loved reading, the first thing she did after she had access to the computer was to figure out how to read books. It was her father who introduced Hannah to the world of books as a child. Hannah would listen with her heart when her father evocatively and dramatically narrated stories to her. And it was these stories that turned her into an author and resulted in a book called ‘Welcome Home.’ The book which narrates the stories of 6 girls was published by Don Bosco Publications. Since most of the books she liked to read in the software had expired their copyright dates, she used to read old English literature (please check if the translation works here). It is only recently that Hanna has started to enjoy reading Malayalam literature.

Courage gets rewarded

Hannah who owns a YouTube channel is a singer and has learnt music till the 10th grade. She also composed nine English devotional songs. Once she stopped music lessons in protest of the society’s stereotypical notion that blind people automatically excel in music. But when she again restarted music lessons under the tutelage of Radhika Sethumadhavan at the age of 13, Hannah started loving music all over again. She takes motivational classes in institutions and likes to refer to her own story as an inspiration. Hannah also conducts spoken English classes for children in orphanages.

Hannah who bagged the first rank in CBSE Plus two exams is all set to go to the US on the 9th of this month. She procured a scholarship to do a degree in psychology from Notre Dame University. Currently, Hannah is working at an NGO in Palarivattom to secure funds for her education. Hannah is planning to work part-time even while doing her studies in the US. Hannah gives all credit to her loving family consisting of her parents and siblings (young brothers Hanok and Daniel) who gave her the impetus to dream and work towards it. And also thanks to the support she received from her teachers and friends. 

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