A polio-affected girl, Tasneem Shaikh said, “We had a lesson in our 11th std. Hindi, where the author, in an unknown city, was feeling weak with high fever. He was taken to his destination by a man, in a bicycle. This man cycled with only one leg since he had lost one of his legs in an accident!” Tasneem herself runs a PCO in a Mumbai suburb. You cannot deny the fact that the differently-abled people live a productive life, may be even better than normal people, since they have the drive to achieve something more than normal people. The following 3 differently-abled people have overcome their life full of struggle and achieved things anybody would be proud of.
Rishi Buttan was born with cerebral palsy and has done MCA from Manovikas Institute of Higher Education. He then joined Manovikas Charitable Society as Head of IT Administration. 25 year old Rishi lives in East Delhi with his family. Gaurav Dhawan is another student from the institute, who joined Manovikas Community College (MCC) in January 2011. 21 year old Gaurav, born with mental retardation, is now working with Haldiram’s, the Bikaner-based savories and sweets shop that has gone global, after doing Certificate of Hospitality Training Program. Many celebrities in Mumbai consult Ayurvedic Doctor Sameer Mansuri, who is blind by birth. All of 36 years, this Ahmadabad-based doctor makes trips to Mumbai especially for people like Subhash Ghai, Salman Khan, Viveik Oberoi, Ashmit Patel and a host of other film and television stars and technicians and the elite from the corporate sector.
The following is the observation of many customers at Haldiram’s. One cannot differentiate Gaurav, by his actions and the way he serves the customers, from other employees. The 6 months of training from MCC has changed his life and helped him to overcome the challenges and limitations in decision making, money concept and functional writing which were a herculean task for him before joining the course. Now he has a university certification and is a good employee, who earns Rs. 6,500/- per month plus perks, medical insurance, life insurance benefits, etc. Gaurav has received all credits of his abilities which he learned in his life as well as during the face to face contact program of college. He has learned the foundation knowledge of workability, core of the job demands, understanding the application of job skills and demonstrated the real life particle experience with the help of the faculty at MCC. It is shocking to note that Gaurav was actually thrown out of his home by his father due to his disability and now lives in Manovikas Independent Living Centre. He says, “Initially when I started my journey, I faced many problems. After two or three years I reached Manovikas Charitable Society. It gave me a direction in life for studying and developed my other qualities. I joined the college with my own efforts and got my certificate. It completely changed my life and after my certification from IGNOU, I got the job in Haldiram’s. Now my parents are proud of me. I also gained my self-confidence.”
The parents of Rishi and Dr. Mansuri were shocked, unhappy and worried when they discovered their sons’ problems. However they were very supportive and the two grew by leaps and bounds and found only progress in their life. They credit their achievements to the support they enjoyed from their family. Both of them find that their families are now proud of them. The incredible thing about Dr. Mansuri is that he supported himself during his studies.
Practicing for the last 14-15 years, Dr. Mansuri did not face any obstacles while studying. He states, “While practicing yes, I had difficulties because I am blind. In fact I have created herbal packs for better and healthy skin, dandruff and hair fall. Initially people wondered how a blind man could understand beauty or treat them for different beauty or non-beauty related ailments. More than the eye, you need the power of reasoning and relevant intellect to understand the problem. We treat problems with food supplements and if one can understand their composition, effects and side effects then it is easy to comprehend the treatment.”
Future holds much hope for Rishi as well as people like him. He says, “My future plan is to do Ph.D in the sector of disability with the subject of Rehabilitation and Information Technologies.”
Dr. Mansuri adds, “God is great and whatever each individual gets in life is as per destiny. Mine was to be blind, be a doctor and help others.”
This article was first published in Eve’s Times magazine and is reproduced here with the editor, Swati Amar’s permission.