Meet Payal Kapoor who aims to empower the disabled

Payal Kapoor recieved 2th Mphasis Universal Design Awards 2021 by National Center for the Employment of People with Disabilities, she used her culinary skills to help other visually impaired people


NH Web Desk

52 years old Payal Kapoor who hails from Hyderabad has always been very fond of cooking.

She was training for hotel management, but at the age of 22, it was certainly difficult to lose sight due to a cerebral attack. However, she kept her love of cooking alive.

Payal recently became the recipient of the 12th Mphasis Universal Design Awards 2021 by the National Center for the Employment of People with Disabilities (NCPEDP).

Well, Payal was a young, bright-eyed, hopeful woman who had many dreams for her future until she lost her vision and touch with all her senses like sight, hearing, taste, smell — and even touch.

For months, she was bedridden, and mentally she was no longer an active, competent person but when she cop up with her sudden vision loss and started communicating with people again, made friends with other people living with visual impairment her disability turned into an x-factor.

During the lockdown last year, she used her culinary skills to help other visually impaired people – by sharing kitchen tutorials through a podcast.

Payal, who is also a motivational speaker wants to reach physically challenged people as well in the future so that she can teach them how to cook and nail the kitchen hacks.

Now Payal is looking forward to getting support from the food industry, hoping that they will recognize the need for this important life skill to reach many blind individuals.

In a recent interview, Payal was asked about her inspiration, life experiences and much more. Here is what she said.

Talking about what inspired her to start her podcast 'Rasoi Ke Rahasya', she said,

''When the country went into lockdown with less than a few days’ notice, many people were left stranded in their homes – some of them in work cities, away from their homes. Suddenly, there was no place for them to cook or buy their food.

Blind and other handicapped persons were the most affected. It was at this stage that I started putting together short voice notes to distribute on WhatsApp groups. It was so well received, and appreciated, that the idea of archiving them on YouTube was born''.

When asked about her inspiration, after the loss of her vision she said,

''It was the hardest period of my life, My parents and sister, along with a few close friends, continued to inspire me not to give up. After a time I got bored with the situation of being constantly dependent on others, and wanted to be free, and take responsibility for my life.''

While explaining the challenges amid the pandemic, she stated,

''It was tough, as I live with elderly parents, and the worry of emergencies was very real. When we ourselves were infected with covid, the ability to care for them without being seen and the inability to read the pulse oximeter was scary. It’s not an experience I’d ever want to live.''

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