8 May is a date that holds double significance for me. First, it is my birthday. And second, it is celebrated as Thalassemia Day. Thalassemia is the disorder which has been my companion since I was born. Weird coincidence, isn’t it? And not quite the one that can make me happy.
But anyway, every year, Thalassemia welfare organizations around the world host various functions to celebrate the success of Thalassemics and renew the resolve to sustain our long continuing fight against this disorder. This year, I was scheduled to give a little speech at the function hosted in Delhi by Thalassemics India.
Now, I’m really not a very confident speaker. And the thought of going up on the stage and speaking out before many strangers did feel terrifying. But thankfully, the speech proved to be a success. I also introduced my novel Lemon Girl at the function and also got the chance to present it to Ms. Maneka Gandhi, the Union Cabinet Minister for Women & Child Development. It was indeed a pleasure meeting her and to be appreciated by her. That definitely turned the day into a memory worth cherishing forever.
Transcript of the Speech I gave on 8 May, 2015
I’m Jyoti Arora. Well, till a few years ago, my introduction was only my name and that I am daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Arora and a patient of Thalassemia Major.
But I was not happy with being just that. Thalassemia was and is a part of my life. But it couldn’t be my whole life and identity. I wanted to show to the world that there was much more to me than my disease.
But that become even harder when I had to quit school after class seventh because I became too ill. Fortunately, I was able to continue my studies through correspondence courses and acquired two Post Graduate degrees.
And today, I’m a novelist, author of two novels, a multi award winning blogger and Operations Executive in a multi-national IT Staffing agency. And that’s an identity I proudly accept.
And I wish I could say it out to all those who still hesitate in hiring a person with Thalassemia thinking us less capable. Despite all my medical problems and despite working from home, I am capable enough and dedicated enough to be awarded the Best Employee of the year. Yes, I have been awarded the Best Employee of the year 2014 at Software Specialists Inc. which has its headquarters in Pennsylvania and branch offices in South Carolina, Bangalore and Coimbatore.
So, dear friends, allow no one to make you feel as if you are nothing more than a disease. Because that isn’t true. I have proved it. So can you.
Anyway, as I said, I have authored two novels. I’d love to tell you about them.
My first novel Dream’s Sake released in 2011 and received excellent reviews. In fact, one reviewer, Mrs. Ahalaya Naidu of Literary Angels wrote “Finally an author I can recommend to those who ask me which Indian author they should read.”
My second novel Lemon Girl released in November 2014. And I’m happy and proud to inform that it has so far received 100% positive reviews from all its readers and reviewers.
“Engaging and emotional, this novel is a must read,” said a book blogger about it.
Another blogger wrote, “Lemon Girl by Jyoti Arora deserves a rating of 5 out of 5!”
A reader on Goodreads.com wrote, “Kudos to Jyoti for having written such a beautiful story with a message that will reach the masses.”
Another reader wrote in his review, “This novel has such a beautiful flowing lyrical prose…after a long time I have come across an Indian author who knows her stuff.”
Yes, I can honestly claim that Lemon Girl is winning the love of all its readers.
The book is based upon the currently raging social issue of abuse of girls and women in India. It protests against the rising crimes against women in India. It asserts that a victim can’t be treated as a culprit just because she’s a woman.
Lemon Girl is available as eBook in all popular formats. It is also available as paperback on Flipkart and Amazon.in. And you can download its first 12 chapters as a sample from my website www.jyotiarora.com.
My book Lemon Girl upholds the value of respect and self-respect for all.
“No love can survive without respect. Not even self-love,” says Lemon Girl.
And with that message, I’d like to end my speech.
Respect yourself. Because no matter what, we are still worth it.”
Note: Thalassemia is a disorder that’s affecting the lives of millions of people around the globe. Its only cure so far is Bone Marrow Transplant. And that is neither safe nor within the financial reach of everyone. In fact, only few lucky Thalassemics can get this process done and live a normal life. But Thalassemia is 100% preventable and can be successfully controlled. The need is to spread awareness so everyone can take the little but necessary precaution that can help in controlling Thalassemia.
To know more about what it is and how you can prevent it, check out my post about Thalassemia
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