The Inspiration, Our Brand Ambassador – Tamana Chona
The word ‘Tamana’ signifies an “inner longing”, an “aspiration”. This name was given to a girl born spastic with cerebral palsy, declared partially sightless with nystagmus and corneal opacity. It was her mother who founded the organization.
Today she is an optimistic, confident, joyful and self reliant young woman who loves to dance, play tennis, watch the latest films, learn Spanish and do yoga. She has the energy of a teenager and has the ability to enthral an audience with her extempore speeches as a spokesperson for the differently abled.
With the love and support of her family who left no stone unturned in enabling Tamana to get the best of training and therapeutic interventions, she started walking and talking around the age of 9. From then on, there was no looking back. Tamana studied alongside her friends at DPS RK Puram and passed Grade 12 through the National Open School post which she acquired a diploma in Travel and Tourism, from South Delhi Polytechnic for women. She went on to acquire training as a Primary School teacher and has been teaching at DPS Infant School since 2000. In 2015 she was awarded the National Award for the Empowerment of Persons with Disability by the Government of India for her hard work and dedicated service as a teacher.
She was selected to serve as an Asia Pacific Olympics Sargent Shriver International Global Messenger for the year 2003-2004 becoming the first differently abled person in India to be chosen for the coveted position. She has also been recognized as an Ambassador for Peace by the Universal Peace Federation and the Inter-religious and International Federation for World peace. She is a TEDx speaker and an author of her biography, I Am Tamana’, co-authored with her best friend Ms. Aditi Mehrotra. Through the book, she conveys to the world that no matter how many disabilities one is born with, given the right environment, one can overcome all challenges.
The rigorous routine of the academic education, therapy and multifarious activities backed with love and support that guided her everyday, is proof that so much can be achieved by children with special needs.
Converting adversity into a valuable service, it was Tamana Chona’s life where her every milestone was a miracle that set the key ingredients of the work of the Association: the strength of conviction, dedication and professional intervention, and this is how Tamana NGO subsequently came into existence.
I AM TAMANA
Tamana has always had the innate desire to tell people what she has been through, how she has walked the long journey to inspire people’s lives, especially the lives of those who have a family member with disability. She has always wanted to tell the world: “Do not give up hope as parent or caregivers, because if my family had given up on me, I would not have been here", and this is exactly what motivated her to even put her thoughts in writing, wherein, she offers an insight into numerous lessons of life in her book ‘I Am Tamana’.
Tamana does not romanticize any of the real events. Her sharp observations, her simplistic interpretations, her logic and quick wit are what give birth to a new philosophy and moments worth listening to. Her day-to-day life events have unknowingly been a turning point for many in the quest for happiness. Her mantra of keeping everything uncomplicated and simple is worth emulating in our own pursuit of happiness, success, and well-being. This one-of-a-kind book will inspire many, make everyone see the world through Tamana’s rose-tinted glasses, and restore one’s belief in the power of love and hope. She is a force to be reckoned with, and this is her story…in her words.
Through her writings, with the help of her co-author Aditi Mehrotra, Tamana inspires the world that no matter how many disabilities one is born with, given the right environment, one can overcome all challenges.