Asif Iqbal is a consultant with Pricewaterhouse Coopers in Kolkata. But he is so much more than that as well. He is a disability evangelist. He was the first student with a disability (visual impairment) to have completed his MBA at Symbiosis. He also works as a senior consultant with Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI).
He was among the imminent speakers present at the India Inlcusion Summit 2015 in Bengaluru, a community driven initiative that aims to bring together though leaders from the field of inclusion to discuss and take forward people in our country.
Asif’s story is remarkable because it shows that opportunities are endless, we just have to overcome the obstacles. At the age of 16, when Asif lost his eyesight because of a genetic disorder, instead of wallowing in self-pity he took it upon himself to cultivate his other senses. His work gets done with a certain software installed on his laptop and his mobile phone.
He learnt from his struggles, which shows in his work. A man who goes beyond empathy, Asif started assisting UIDAI in developing a disabled-friendly interface. For the purpose of identification, UIDAI scans fingers and eyes (irises) as they are both unique to each person. The problem arises when someone is visually impaired or does not have fingers or has some other disability. The framework intends to allot uniquie identification numbers, called Aadhaar to differently-abled citizens. This process of sensitizing the system is a mammoth task but Asif is determined to get it done.