Life has particularly been an adventure for me, due to the challenges I have had to face throughout my 21 years. You see, my name is K. Aveena Devi and I was born with spina bifida, a medical condition wherein the spine’s support system does not fully develop. It is a condition that has left me unable to walk.
While some of you might feel sorry for me, I personally don’t find it to be a big deal, as I’ve spent most of my childhood in and out of hospitals and would always see kids who go through worse than what I have had to.
Of course, there have been difficult times for me, where I would find myself wondering why I had to be so different from my siblings and why I could not do the things that they could. My condition also made it difficult for me to find a school where I fit in, that eventually my parents decided to home-school me instead.
It had started out very rough for me, but as I got older, I was able to accept my condition better. I have my amazing family to thank for that – they joined me in my journey towards acceptance and always stood by me through tough times, reminding me that I can achieve anything I set my mind to. And I really did.
One day, I was approached by my uncle who works at QNET – the same company where my dad works – about sharing my life story in the in-house magazine Voyager. I agreed and I was so surprised by the amazing feedback I received from the QNET independent representatives who were inspired by my journey.
After this, I received a great opportunity as the company invited me to intern at their publishing house and write a book under the Young Writers Programme. It was the best six months of my life!
When my book, titled ‘What’s Your Problem?’ was finally published, I received an even more amazing response, plenty of it from the QNET family. I am absolutely grateful to these people, because they empowered me to believe in myself even more. Since that fateful day in 2010, my life has only gotten better. And as my way of paying it forward, I ensured that a portion of the sales from my book went to the Spina Bifida Association to help others like me.
QNET has not only been a stepping stone for me to achieve success – it is and continues to be a big part of my journey to become a better person. The QNET leaders inspire me and I always enjoy listening to their amazing talks. Dato’ Sri Vijay Eswaran and Datin Sri Umayal Eswaran are wonderful mentors and I feel very blessed to have them in my life.
Many of my dreams have become reality, thanks to these people and this company. The latest of these dreams was getting to meet some of my favourite Bollywood celebrities!
Having grown up watching Bollywood movies, some of my biggest childhood crushes were the handsome actors featured in them. So, when QNET became a co-sponsor of the International Indian Film Academy Awards (IIFA) Awards 2015, I jumped at the opportunity to attend and see these actors in person. It was so surreal! My idol Priyanka Chopra even graciously took a selfie with me, amidst the loud crowd calling her attention. It meant so much to me and it made me feel like I wasn’t simply a girl on a wheelchair.
QNET continues to be very close to my heart, because it is a company full of people who are always giving their best to make people’s lives better. I truly believe my journey with them will never end, and I know I will keep making my dreams a reality with them in the years to come.