This 14-Yr-Old Champ is Dyslexic. Her Mom Has a Message for Modi

14-year-old Indiya Oberoi is dyslexic which in no way stops her from excelling.

Mind It
2 min read

“Dear PM Modi, dyslexia is not a joke, neither is it anything to be ashamed of.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi cracked a joke on dyslexia and made an insensitive comment in an interaction with students. The remark was seen as a veiled attack at Congress President Rahul Gandhi. People called it out for being inappropriate especially while a student was trying to talk about her idea of helping children with dyslexia.

A mother-daughter duo has a message for PM Modi. Dr Geet Oberoi is a special educator and runs an organisation that works on learning differences. Her daughter, 14-year-old Indiya Oberoi, is dyslexic as well, which in no way stops her from excelling.

“I’m an adult with dyscalculia. And my daughter is dyslexic. In a country where awareness is so low, if we make a joke or derogatory comment about dyslexia or a disability, it doesn’t help the cause,” says Dr Oberoi.

Dyslexia is a learning difference where a child faces problems in reading and writing. Around 35 million children in India are dyslexic.

This doesn’t mean that dyslexic kids aren’t intelligent. In many cases, we see that a child with dyslexia has very high IQ. In fact, at times they’re smarter than the other kids.
Dr Geet Oberoi, Special Educator

Her daughter Indiya has struggled with dyslexia as well. But a right environment can make kids like her cope with the difference easily.

I have dyslexia and I’m also the captain of my football team in school. I’ve been practising horse riding for over 10 years. And I’ve won many medals.
Indiya Oberoi, Student, 14

“Like other kids, I can't sit at one place and write. But orally, I know all the answers,” explains Indiya, who also has ADHD (Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).

Kids can be taught coping strategies so that they can tap into their strengths and succeed, says Dr Oberoi.

They don’t need special schools because learning disorders aren’t mental disorders. They just need a different style of studying and learning.

Dr Oberoi has a message for the government.

“The responsibility lies with the government to make sure that in schools, all children are screened, identified and given the remediation. Their style of studying and learning is slightly different. So instead of making jokes on them, it will be better if we can equip our teaching community to teach them (children) the way they (can) learn.”

Video Editor: Rahul Sanpui
Cameraperson: Sumit Badola

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