Visual impairment does not stop Preeti Monga from motivating others
“We are limited, not by our abilities, but by our vision.”–Helen Keller
A trauma counsellor, corporate trainer, writer, aerobics trainer, public speaker and director of Silver Linings Human Resource Solution Private Limited — all rolled into one, Preeti Monga’s achievements are inspirational for any youngster. Interestingly, that she lost her vision early in life could not deter Ms. Monga from living up to her dreams.
With a staff size of eight girls, Silver Linings is a Delhi-based executive search and talent development consultancy. “What makes us different from typical recruitment companies and sundry providers of standardised training modules is the fact that we go beyond a transactional relationship with our clients to be their ‘Human Capital Custodian’,” Ms. Monga said. She recalls the motivational workshops she has conducted for workers in Maruti when they were going through a difficult labour phase. “I have addressed workers at the mines as well. Being a positive person I enjoy motivational workshops. We have a master list of 140 active clients. Our business model is simple. We share 10 per cent of the profit with our employees.”
Preeti started the consultancy with her brother Sandeep Singh. “We got Silver Lining Trust registered in 2006, and then thought about starting Silver Lining Solutions. We started Silver Linings in the dining hall of our house in 2010 and now our bedroom, too, is annexed into the office area. We will have a bigger office soon” she said. “My brother left his job for this venture. Convincing him was my first victory,” she smiled. While Mr. Singh looks after the operations of Silver Linings, Ms. Monga handles the business development part.
Ms. Monga was only six years old when doctors diagnosed her deteriorating vision as a condition due to optic atrophy. “It was difficult for me since my childhood. And by the time I was able to accept my disability, my school had already thrown me out. It affected me greatly,” she said.
“In a place like India, where even the birth of a girl child is not welcomed, being born with an extreme physical disability is almost unacceptable to the society,” Ms. Monga said. “But I have been fortunate enough to have supportive parents. They stood by my side in every adversity. They have made me what I am today.”
She decided to leave her studies after completing Class X. “I found it meaningless! At that point of time, I failed to understand that I would need certificates and degrees to survive in this difficult world… Soon after ending my first marriage, I realized that I needed to be economically independent. That brought me in touch with Veena Merchant of U.S.A. Shapes. I received proper aerobics training and started my own training class. I had a class of 40 people,” she said.
Simultaneously, she got involved in computer and English teaching, sales and marketing management, freelance journalism, public speaking and most of all trauma counselling; all this without completing her formal education. “I always believed that one can learn from every day experiences. For me, life was the biggest teacher and troubles, lessons of the book,” she added.
“Today I am a proud mother of two independent children and a very happy grandmother too. I dream of building Silver Linings into a global entity. I want to tell the world that if a blind person can do it in spite of ever increasing adversities, everybody can. I want to be the light that can eliminate darkness from the lives of people,” she asserted.