Differently-abled heroes

Differently abled people honoured at an event in the capital by N.R. Narayan Murthy

Differently abled people honoured at an event in the capital by N.R. Narayan Murthy

Limca Book of Records felicitated 15 specially-abled ‘People of the year’ who did not allow disability to become an impediment to success.

To quote Mahatma Gandhi — Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will. 15 specially-abled people from across the country, who were recently felicitated by the Limca Book of Records (LBR) in the capital, made this motivational quote relevant. One such case in point is Arunima Sinha, a national volleyball player who lost one of her legs, after a gang of robbers pushed her out of a moving train in 2011. But this didn’t dampen her spirit. Two years later, with a prosthetic leg on, she became the first woman amputee in the world to climb Mount Everest! “I am thankful to General Pervez Musharraf, who gave me this wild card entry into this special group of people with special abilities,” quipped India’s blade runner, Major Devender Pal, who was also honoured at the event. He added, “I lost my right leg during the Kargil war and suffered partial hearing loss and internal derangement of my left knee. The doctor informed me that one of my leg will be amputated. I didn’t lose hope and in fact, decided to live my second life with more positive approach.”

Since 2009, Major has been finding joy in running marathons with blade prosthetics, and has also achieved a feat by trekking up to 10,000 ft. Another inspirational example present at the event was i. While working in the corporate sector in Kenya, he suffered a bullet injury that left him with a visual disability. For him, the journey didn’t stop there. He went ahead and for over a decade, he has working been towards spreading legal awareness about the rights of persons with disabilities. Rauturi is currently the Asia Pacific head for Disability Rights Promotion International, a collaborative project to establish a comprehensive, sustainable international system to monitor human rights of people with disabilities.

Sharing her experience of how challenging it was to defeat the challenge and move ahead in life, visually challenged Ashwini Angadi said, “Due to my disabilities, I was discriminated at every sphere of life. As a child, I had to bear with several physical and mental abuses. My positive thinking, confidence, courage, dedication and mental strength helped me defeat all difficulties and march ahead in life.” Ashwini runs an academy for young visually challenged girls. These are just a few examples out of fifteen “People of the Year” 2016, announced by Limca Book of Records, who wanted to showcase examples of people who did not allow physical disability to become an impediment to success.

Present at the felicitation ceremony, N.R. Narayana Murthy, founder, Infosys Ltd said, “India can’t become a strong economy without becoming an inclusive economy — an economy which is inclusive in gender, ability, ethnicity and all other social parameters. People with disabilities have to be integrated with the mainstream. Corporates, civil society and governments must come together to accomplish the vision of an accessible India.” He also co-signed a petition to make ‘sign language’ an official language by including it in the ‘Eighth Schedule’ of Parliament.

Emphasising on the urgent need to make India more accessible and disabled friendly, Debabrata Mukherjee, vice president, marketing and commercial, Coca-Cola India, South West Asia added, “We wanted to drive the message of ‘Accessible India’ and spread awareness making spaces in our country more disabled friendly, and that’s why we chose the theme of the book around the same.”

Asian Age