My accident at the tender age of 11, which left the lower half of my body paralysed, was a very difficult and traumatic experience. The first challenge that I faced was to accept the way I am. I was still looking into the eyes of the people around me for approval. As a result, I just wanted to stay in my own house and not step out. It was my family that became a deep source of emotional and psychological support for me in those moments.
I believe the biggest challenges for people like me are people's negative attitude, rigid mindsets, and lack of sensitisation and awareness. Inaccessible physical infrastructure, apathy of the administration, and improper societal attitude create a disabling environment.
People with disabilities generally stay confined to their homes, and face social and economic exclusion due to inaccessible public infrastructure. A little bit of courage, lots of love, support from the family and friends, and God's grace is what it takes to make life beautiful.
Inaccessibility of public infrastructure, including transport systems, remains a major challenge. When people with disabilities cannot come out of their homes, use pedestrian pathways or public transport, all benefits conferred by the state - the right to education and three per cent reservation in public employment, among others - fail to result in empowerment. Though cyber access has picked up at a phenomenal pace, physical access links us to the outside world.
- It is extremely important for a person who wants to conquer disability to accept how things are.
- Never forget to exercise so that the existing muscle groups help you overcome the muscle group that has stopped working for you.
- Never lose sight of your goal.
- Be productively engaged so that negativity does not cross your mind.
- Please go out and explore the world with an open mind - there are a lot of good people out there.
- If met with a negative situation, take it as a challenge and sort it out with a positive state of mind.
- Volunteer for social and cultural activities in and around your workplace. You have no idea how much you can sensitise and motivate others.
- Accept yourself with all your limitations and all your strengths because only through self-acceptance does acceptance from outside begin. Look within.
MD, Jindal SAW, and founder, Svayam