Friday, December 23, 2016
Inspiration-Declared ‘Brain Dead’ By Doctors, This Visually Impaired Man Is A Successful Counselor Now.
Doctors said he would become a “vegetable” and wouldn’t be able to do anything. Not the one to live a life like this, Azeem Bolar started counseling people and has successfully changed many lives in a positive way. “I’d rather someone envy me than pity me,” he says. Know more about his tremendously inspiring journey.
47 year-old Azeem Bolar is blind. Born with bronchitis and a heart-valve defect, he developed juvenile arthritis before he entered his teens. That didn’t stop him from pursuing his dreams, though. After spending several years in East Africa, where his family had shifted from their native Mangalore, at 17 he went to Strasbourg, France, to train as a hotelier. From there he went to London, where he earned a Post-Graduate degree in Hotel Management. He wanted to become a master chef, but life had different plans for him.
In 1991, Azeem returned to India, taking up a job as a manager in a restaurant in Bangalore. He climbed up the ladder to join The Oberoi, Bangalore, as a night manager. At this time, his vision began to fade, leaving him no choice but to resign his job.He set up a fast-food takeaway instead, but when his vision fell to a very low level, he had to close shop and join his parents in Uganda. There, he fell in love with a 5-acre property, where he ran a restaurant for a while, but his vision continued to deteriorate. He was struck with meningitis — his brain was filled with water — and then with cerebral malaria and his first paralytic attack. Shortly after, he lost total vision due to a neurological stroke and was paralyzed on the left side of his body.
“The doctors declared me brain-dead,” Azeem relates. “They told me that I would be a vegetable, that I would never be able to walk or talk, that I would be confined for the rest of my life to a wheelchair. But God has blessed me with great willpower. I told myself that I just had to get on my feet, come what may, and that’s exactly I did!”Although he was now blind and half paralyzed, Azeem didn’t become a ‘vegetable’ as his doctors had predicted. Instead, he grew into a very successful counselor. He did several courses in counseling from the Banjara Academy, Bangalore, followed by courses in Neuro-Linguistic Programming, Hypnotherapy, Gestalt Therapy and Reiki, and then an MS in Counseling and Psychotherapy from Kuvempu University, Karnataka.
Earlier this year, he was conferred a Ph.D. by the Indian Virtual University. After becoming a ‘doctor’, this recipient of the National Federation of the Blind’s Best Professional Award and the Cavin Kare Award for Achievement Against All Odds is now aspiring even higher.Azeem has put all the many skills and knowledge that he’s acquired to good use. For many years now, he has been volunteering once a week as a Counselor at the Banjara Academy’s free-of-cost counseling centre. He works two days a week at Aditi Technologies as a consultant counselor, and on other days he works from home.
It was this courageous acceptance of reality and refusal to give up that led Azeem to prepare for a vocation of helping others which he might never have considered had he not turned blind.
“I believe in God,” Azeem says, “and I know that whatever God does is for my best.”