|Smilling Miss Disabled 2006 Ta Bich Huong in tranditional dress|
She cried when she heard her name called aloud in the night of Miss Disabled 2006. She was crowned! The enthronement, however, did not cause any surprise for her teachers or friends as she was a beautiful, young woman of versatile talent.
With her long, straight hair, rosy cheeks and elegant figure, Miss Disabled 2006, Ta Bich Huong, always leaves a strong first impression, not only because of her appearance but also because of her energy and optimism.
When Huong was nearly one year old, one of her legs suffered muscular atrophy. Her parents moved heaven and earth trying to find a physician who could make a miracle possible for their child’s helpless condition. Despite their efforts, Huong was unable to take her first step.
Growing up in the loving arms of her parents, Huong became a beautiful and intelligent young girl, the kind of person who would never accept one’s fate with resignation. She promised herself that she would become a useful citizen to society.
Nurturing a dream of entering into a university in the future, she devoted her time to her study and became a good student at school. At home, she learned to do as many things as she could to help her parents. She was very good at cooking, embroidery and sewing.
Her dream of being a university student came true one day when she received notification of admission into the Hanoi Management and Business University (now Hanoi Business and Technology University). Huong left Ha Nam, her hometown, for Ha Noi, where she shared a room in a dorm with other students. Neither feeling inferior about her disability nor resorting to her disadvantaged condition to ask for a helping hand from her teachers and friends, she always tried to stand on her own feet. Shortly afterwards, she became one of the top students in the university.
To earn money to cover her daily expenses, Huong decided to make the most of her spare time to make cute greeting cards from available materials like colored papers, dried leaves and flowers, for sale at workshops or seminars related to the disabled. Thanks to her smart marketing skills, there were days she could sell out hundreds of greeting cards each.
Stimulated by her own initial success, Huong began to think about setting up a website where the disabled nationwide could join to do business. She asked one of her friends to take her to handicraft factories owned by similarly disadvantaged people in Ha Noi and Ha Tay to persuade them to introduce and sell their products on the website.
The most difficult part for her was the design job. She said, "It was not easy at all, you know. You need time, money and specialized knowledge. I thought of giving it up several times. In fact, my website www.vndisability.net would have never had a chance to be brought into the world if I had not been lucky enough to meet Trinh Cong Thanh, a knight of technology and information. He gave me a hand and everything turned out all right."
Thanks to the website, disabled manufacturers no longer had to travel day after day and visit shop after shop to introduce their products. Huong added, "The website is now upgraded to a modern design, posting all local and international information about every aspect in life. Above all, it updates all information needed for the disabled. For instance, free vocational courses offered by Ha Noi Wheel Chair Maintenance and Repair Shop. It also has a forum for the disabled and a shopping center where people can shop arts and handicrafts online."
Interested readers can visit the site, www.nguoikhuyettat.org.
Huong was also the first to persuade employers to hire the disabled to work for their companies. One day, she showed up at a job fair in Giang Vo and gave out ten supporting reasons. She said, "I was still a student at the time and I didn’t need a job. My purpose was to change the viewpoint of leaders of agencies and companies concerning the disabled. We can work productively like normal people if we are offered suitable jobs."
At present, Huong is an employee of the Duong Anh Tourism Company. Her main tasks are to sell air tickets and to launch marketing campaigns on local and international tourism products. She is also a volunteer, working as a cashier for a club named For the Sake of Disabled Children in Ha Noi and founder of the Disabled Students Club of Hanoi Business and Technology University, whose members have received many scholarships from local and international organizations thanks to her canvasses.