Twenty-year-old Eshwar Rao Javvadi from Hyderabad is just a few months away from graduating as a lawyer from Gujarat National Law University (GNLU) in Ahmedabad.
But there is something special about Eshwar's story. He is visually impaired. He lost his vision at the age of 10 in 2007.
Eshwar remembers a taxation lawyer he met when he was five, and he wanted to be the same.
Despite all the hardships Eshwar faced, he worked hard to fulfil his dream.
"I had a passion for law, being an advocate was a dream since I was six years old. I will be turning 20 this year. When I was a kindergarten student in 2001, I somehow got the opportunity to see an advocate and that sparked an interest and it was then itself that I decided that I will wear that black coat one day," he said.
Eshwar has overcome many challenges in life.
He explains, "I did not lose my vision at the time of my birth, it happened 10 years ago. That was my first challenge -- to accept a new world. Just a few days before I could see, write, could talk to people over video calls and stuff and also watch many things. But in a matter of few days, I lost my entire vision."
Speaking about the hurdles that came his way, he said, "The first problem which I faced was accepting the fact that I will not be able to see in the future. It troubled me for almost a year, I could not accept it even though I had support from my family members and teachers. It took a long time, but fortunately, I did accept my condition and that gave me great confidence in doing the things that I like. I don't feel anymore that I am visually impaired so I can't do anything or I am not contributing anything to society. Now, I am pretty sure that with my existing knowledge and whatever knowledge I acquire in the future, I will definitely be contributing to the society in whatever way possible."
He has travelled from Hyderabad to Gujarat to even West Bengal, all alone, but what irks him most is the sympathy people show him.
"Generally, I try to give the best of my efforts but sometimes if I fail, instead of empathy I get sympathy. I have been associated with various institutions, specifically for visually challenged or disabled students; I have seen a lot of people having only sympathy but no understanding of providing opportunities for us to rise up in the society."
TECHNOLOGY BECAME A BOON
Eshwar was in Kolkata to compete in the 4th Dr Justice BP Saraf National Moot Court, focusing on taxation, but he was using technology to his benefit -- listening to books instead of carrying kilograms of Braille versions of law books.
He said, "In law, you'll have a lot of books which cannot be translated into Braille and it's a very cumbersome task to do so. Hence I and many of my friends thought that it would be better for us to use audiobook technology as it's easier and not so expensive. As you can see I just have a simple laptop with a screen reader. Whatever books are online I can read all of them and whatever I learn in the class; I type the notes myself and based on that I prepare for exams."
Despite not making it to the semi-finals of the competition, where judges from Calcutta High Court were present, he surely made a mark.
He shared his happiness by saying, "I feel happy because I have improved since my last moot to this one. Regarding my absence in the top five, I believe when we deserve something we are going to get it for sure. When we put enough hard work or we have enough capability, we will get results accordingly. The only difference is that the people in the top five have put in more effort than me so they have excelled."
The organisers of the moot court too are elated with Eshwar's spirit and enthusiasm.
Vivek Agarwal, joint secretary of the All India Federation of Tax Practitioners said, "We are extremely privileged to have students like him come, contest and fight it out. This is inspiring not only for other students who watch him making presentations but is also a message to many more on how they can do better in life if they have the will and follow their dreams."
Any guesses on which part of Constitution is his favourite and what he wants to modify in the present context of our nation?
This is what he Eshwar has to say: I like the fundamental rights, specifically the right to life in Article 21 because of how it changed from 1950 to now. At that time it was a mere line which gave us the right to life and personal liberty, but if we see the scope of it now, it has practically everything. I would like to modify the understanding of the judges and the responsibility of the government.