Published On: Wed, Feb 20th, 2019

Darpan Irani – Raising Children With Special Needs

In this article we are going to discuss about Darpan Irani. He is a boy from Vadodara Gujarat who is the highest rated blind chess player in the country. There are many inspiring stories that we come across in life and this one that we are going to share about Darpan Irani is actually one of the best.

The Beginning

A story that inspires people and will continue to forever, Darpan was born normal and could see. He was born on 14th February 1994. At the age of three he developed Steven Johnson Syndrome and he lost his vision completely.  This is a very rare disease that is similar to flu. The patient develops purple rashes all over the body. This condition needs immediate medical attention.

Darpan Irani was declared blind. This was a shock to the parents. They had no idea how they will bring up a child who is blind. The parents started to look at different options. The parents decided that they have to be strong. They could see the child all lost and going into depression as he had lost his vision all of a sudden.

His parents wanted to ensure that Darpan Irani has a good future and that he can take care of himself when he grows old. The parents somehow convinced the Baroda high school in Alkapuri to enrol Darpan Irani. The school gave him a chance so that the child could live a normal life. Perhaps he is one of the very few blind students who have studied in a normal school.

The start of chess

Darpan Irani’s father decided to introduce him to chess. Chess is a tough game especially for a blind person but Darpan Irani ensured that he gives it a shot. Darpan Irani took some time to master the game and initially he did have his failures but he never gave up.

Darpan Irani says with confidence today that you actually do not need eyes to dream. The parents of Darpan Irani basically wanted him to play the game and get a distraction for his mind. However, Darpan Irani would practice the game of chess whenever he got a chance. He discovered that he had a huge passion for the game and he loved to explore the game.

Some facts

Darpan Irani is 100% blind. He grew up with this fact and perhaps for him this is normal. He had learned Indian classical music as it gives him peace of mind. He knows how to play the tabla as well as the harmonium. He was always a good student and an aspiring chartered accountant. Darpan Irani also appeared for CAT. He got good marks and was called by almost all of the IIM’s in the country to join. Darpan Irani refused and decided to continue his studies to become a CA.

Darpan Irani and his parents always ensured that he gets a normal life and is treated as a normal person. Darpan Irani proved this when he won the under 14 district chess tournament. He defeated a boy who could see. In 2010 he won the national level chess championship for blind players in Mumbai. In 2010 he was selected to represent India in the world blind chess championship that was being held in Siberia. He was the youngest one to represent the country. He continued to represent the country in many international competitions.

In 2011 Darpan Irani won the Chennai open chess tournament, there were three hundred players and he was the only blind player. He wanted to prove that being blind was not at all a handicap to win chess competition. The list of achievement for this 24 year old is long and it is just going on. In 2013 he won the bronze medal in the world junior chess championship for the blind.

Darpan Irani wants to create awareness in India about chess for the blind. He feels that there are many like him in India who wants to learn the game and can do well but they just do not have the right opportunity. He works for a project called checkmate. He has been awarded the Yuva Ratna. His life has also been documented by Ian McDonald. The movie talks about the struggles that a blind chess player has to face. The fears and the emotional turmoil that a blind chess player has to face in a country like India where there is absolutely no awareness on this issue.

Darpan Irani says that when he started to learn chess no one could understand how a blind child could play this game. There was no scope for a blind person in chess. Darpan Irani says that it was a challenge but it also actually helped him to compete with the normal children and get over his own fears. Darpan Irani proves that mind is the most powerful thing that we have. If we set our mind we can achieve the impossible.

He is the only blind Indian so far who has won a title in Creon open in France. Darpan Irani has an attitude that ensures him to make his disability into ability. He is not among those who will give up easily. He has been a fighter throughout.  In most of these international events so far he has gone without a coach or s sponsor.

The way Darpan Irani is increasing his ranking and his scores in the game of chess it may be possible that soon he will become the international chess master and that will make him the first Indian to achieve this. The story of Darpan Irani is incredible and why we choose this for our site is simple, we want parents to learn that each kid is different and we must encourage them.

We know that Darpan Irani is a success story. He has done the unimaginable. He has taken blind chess in India to a next level. No matter what his achievement is, a lot of the credit goes to his parents who never gave up. They ensured that Darpan Irani gets a normal life as much as possible. It is not easy for parents of a physically challenged child in India to give a normal life to the kid. There are a lot of challenges that the parents have to face.

What we are trying to get at is that as a parent you must always try to ensure that the child gets a normal life and is treated in a normal way. All kids cannot become Darpan Irani but they must be given the opportunity to at least dream and not live a life without hopes.

As a parent of a child who is physically challenged it is essential that we tell the children that they have to get over what they could not change but there is a lot that they can do with the resources and the opportunities that is available to them. We hope that this article will help all parents who are trying come into terms with a tragedy that is similar to what the parents of Darpan Irani faced.

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