Entrepreneur & National Paralympics Medal winner Bhavesh Bhatia gives a motivating talk in Hindi at India Inclusion Summit on his journey at Sunrise Candles despite being born blind.
Bhavesh was born blind. Studying in a normal school only meant sitting in the by-lines both in class and in the playground while other kids had fun. His mother used to steadfastly encourage him saying, ‘You might not be able to see the world. Accomplish great things that the world could see’. Unfortunately, during his post-graduation, Bhavesh lost his mother due to blood cancer. The expensive chemotherapies costed them all of their life savings. Undeterred by this setback, Bhavesh took up vocational course of being a masseur at the National Association of Blind. His interest was in the candle making as well. Bartering massages for candle making classes from the instructor, he learnt how to make simple candle. Coming back to his home town, Mahabaleshwar Maharashtra, Bhavesh started saving money from his masseur job to buy raw materials for his candle making business. Through this not only did he learn how to build Sunrise Candles but he also met the love of his life. Bhavesh humorously recounts that it was love at first ‘sight’. It was her sight and his love. Mahabaleshwar being a tourist spot in summer used to attract tourists and this attracted blind beggars as well. Using his business acumen and persuasion skills, Bhavesh employed these people to give up begging and instead make candles and in return he gave them good food, better wages and a decent place to stay too. As his business grew, he started employing these people in marketing and sales too. There is an old Indian saying that, ‘stretch your foot only till the blanket’s end’. But Bhavesh took it on himself to weave a blanket that fits the size of his ambitions. The result has been that Sunrise candles today employs 350 blind people and ships quality products to 65 countries. Bhavesh cajoles the audience not to wait for things to happen as ‘People who wait only get as much left by the ones who tried’. Ending his talk with a beautiful Hindi couplet, Bhavesh said, ‘Winds! Don’t pride too much! For we have learnt to fly, not with our wings but through our ambitions’.
About India Inclusion Summit
India Inclusion Summit is a community driven Initiative that brings together thought leaders from the field of inclusion to deliberate, discuss and take forward diverse talents available in our society. The Summit is an egalitarian platform attracting people from a range of fields. Along with you, we aspire to create the world’s largest platform that fosters diversity and inclusion in the society. And, we dream to inspire 10 million lives in our journey of inclusion by 2020
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About Bhavesh Bhatia
Bhavesh Bhatia, is a blind entrepreneur and founder of Sunrise Candles. Sunrise Candles is a candle making company run majorly by visually disabled people. Sunrise candles employs 350 people makes 10000 designs and ships to 65 countries worldwide. Sunrise candles is famous for its quality and doesn’t take any kind of donations and works with corporates. Even popular Indian actor Aamir Khan paid a visit to its factory and it got a mention in Satyamev Jayate TV series that the Actor anchored. Bhavesh is also a Paralympic sportsman with National and State medals in Javelin, Discus and Shotput and dreams of striking Gold in Rio 2016 Paralympics. He is also on a mission to employ 50000 people with vision impairment.