“Tough times never last, but tough people do.” How true this is in regard to Mr. Saji Mathews. After completing his graduate studies in Computer Application, when he was working for a multi-national Software Company in Chennai, he lost his vision due to unforeseen circumstances.
Saji Mathews was born in 1977 in a jungle village called Sihawa, approximately 200 km from Raipur (Chhattisgarh, India). His parents, who were originally from Kerala were then working for the Chattisgarh Government in this remote village called Sihawa. Later, his parents were transferred to a place which was further inside the jungle. Saji did his schooling at Belargaon village, which is approximately 270 km from Raipur. He had to walk approx. 3 km everyday to reach his school. Remembering those days, Saji said, “I studied in a school which had natural air conditioners, as the entire school did not even have any doors or windows.” He added, “I enjoyed my childhood thoroughly and always dreamt of carrying the world in my hand.”
After finishing his schooling, Saji went to Kerala for further studies. He graduated from M.G. University and got ‘his first break’ when he got a job in an MNC in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.”It was very difficult for a village boy like me to compete with others there. But my determination and confidence never let me down,” says Saji. He had an opportunity to select his base, either Singapore or Finland. “But GOD had his own plans. He wanted me to be in the visually impaired field. It was tough, but GOD helped me contain myself,” he says with a smile. He did not lose his confidence but was determined to overcome this challenge of visual impairment. He received training in screen reading software, after which he was ready to take his life to a new horizon.
Saji worked in many government organisations in different capacities. “I was in academics, research & development, administration and management,” says Saji proudly. He enjoyed his work, raised the standard and set an example for others.
Saji Mathews is married to Melba, a beautiful young lady. “I wanted to have a girl who could know and understand me and my life.” He adds that Melba is the kind of girl he always dreamt about. She has had an eventful life too. She had a fire accident in her childhood. This, amongst other things, has given her a ‘never give up’ attitude. Saji and Melba have a daughter, Abigail, and a son, Jeremiah. “They are our heart and soul,” sums up the way the proud parents feel about them.
Saji Mathews was the youngest of the four children of Mrs Annamma Mathews and Late Mr. Mammen Mathews. They hail from Pannikandathil (Pullad), Kerala. Saji has a brother, Mr. Sanny Mathews, who is working in Bahrain as an IT professional. He has two sisters: the eldest, Leela, is a medical professional in Kuwait and the second, Lissy, is a lecturer in Government Inter College in Bhilai, Chhattisgarh. All the siblings are married and have grown up children. “Saji is not only a brother to us but he is also the hero of our family,” is what one of his sisters had to say about him.