Undeterred by her blindness, 31-year-old Mumbai girl masters 25 musical instruments

On World Disability Day, Yogita Tambe receives Outstanding Creative Adult Personality with Disabilities by the President of India for her rare talent of having mastered playing 25 musical instruments

Yogita Tambe, a 31-year-old visually-impaired Mumbai resident, learnt playing tabla from renowned maestros Ustad Alla Rakha Khan and Ustad Zakir Hussain

Yogita Tambe, a visually-impaired Mumbai resident, received coveted Outstanding Creative Adult Personality with Disabilities on World Disability Day (December 3) for her rare talent of having mastered playing 25 musical instruments.

President of India Pranab Mukherjee presented the prestigious award to Tambe, 31, who has not only pursued her passion for music despite her disability, but has also been an inspiration to many.

“Despair is the biggest enemy of humans,” says Tambe. A music teacher by profession, Tambe says she was diagnosed with cataract at birth in both her eyes.

When she was six-month-old, she underwent a failed cataract surgery and she developed glaucoma, a known complication associated in cataract surgery of children below the age of 1.

However, this did not deter either her passion for music or love for life. With family’s support, Tambe never let her visual disability come in the way of her dreams.

“Blindness has never been a hurdle in my education. I had my first lessons in music at Shri Kamla Mehta Asmita Vidyalay for Blind in Jogeshwari. Tabla was the first musical instrument I played. I instantly fell in love with music and found the goal of my life,” said Tambe.

Speaking to My Medical Mantra, Tambe’s mother Uma described her daughter as a go-getter.

Yogita Tambe with one of her trophies

“She had injured her right eye in an accident while she was appearing for class X preliminary exams. Before accident, she had 30% visibility in her right eye, but after the incident, she lost her vision completely. This, too, didn’t stop her from scoring 71% in her class X,” said Uma Tambe.

Her mother shared Yogita completed her graduation from Ruia College in Matunga, Mumbai, and did her masters in History, but music remained her first love.

“She learnt tabla from renowned tabla maestros Ustad Alla Rakha Khan and Ustad Zakir Hussain. Learning musical instruments became her passion. We feel proud of her because she has never let her disability become her weakness,” said Uma.

Tambe went on to learn 25 different instruments like dhol, dholki, mrudung, nagara, among others.

“Instruments are related to sound and through sound we can express our feelings. So, I like playing instruments,” said Tambe.

On World Disability Day, Tambe said one should live life with bravery. “Every person in this world has some or the other problem. But, one should never lose hope. One should overcome problems with bravery. Don’t cry for what you don’t have, but make your life worthy by fully utilising what you have,” said Tambe.