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There are numerous disabled people in India and outside who have made their respective countries proud in various fields. Our duty is to appreciate these people, motivate them towards achieving laurels for India and setting an example that no matter what one’s physical condition is, one can always achieve their dreams by working hard.
Let’s have a look at some of the famous disabled personalities:
Nature of Disability: All four limbs paralyzed due to whip-lash injury to the neck and serious damage to the spinal cord.
Life and Achievements: Ajit Jogi was born on 29 April 1946. He got selected in the Indian Administrative Services (IAS) in 1971 batch. In 1986, he joined the Congress party and became the first Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh in the year 2000. In April 2004, Jogi met with a road accident and got paralyzed. This severely hampered his political career but he still became the Member of Parliament from 2004 to 2008 from Mahasamund seat in Chhattisgarh. From 2008 until now, he served as the MLA from Marwahi constituency.
Nature of Disability: Legs affected with polio, a wheelchair user
Life and Achievements: Dr. Suresh H. Advani is a reputed oncologist who is credited to pioneer the hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in India. A Padma Bhushan awardee, Dr. Advani became affected with Polio at the age of eight years. He went on to study at Grant Medical College, Mumbai where he earned the degrees of MBBS and MD. Dr. Advani is also a recipient of Dr. B. C. Roy National Award by Medical Council of India (2005).
Nature of Disability: Amputation in the right leg.
Life and Achievements: Sudha is an Indian film and television actress and an accomplished Bharatanatyam dancer. At the age of 16 years, she met a car accident in May 1981. As a consequence, her right leg had to be amputated. She started her film career with a Telugu film ‘Mayuri‘, which was based on her own life. The film was later dubbed in Tamil and Malayalam.
Nature of Disability: Quadriplegic
Life and Achievements: H. Boniface Prabhu is a Padma Shree awardee wheelchair tennis player from India. He was born on 14 May 1972 in Bangalore. At the age of four, a blotched lumbar tumor made him a quadriplegic. He began his sporting career with the shot put and javelin throw. Prabhu went on to win a gold medal in shot put and a silver medal in the discus throw at the 1996 World Wheelchair Games, UK. He is the first Indian to win a medal in the International Paralympic Games. Then he shifted his focus to wheelchair tennis and he won a medal in the 1998 World Championship. He has reached a career-best world ranking of 17 in singles and 19 in doubles.
Nature of Disability: Below knee amputation in the left leg.
Life and Achievements: Arunima Sinha is the first female amputee to climb Mount Everest. She was born on 20 July 1988. She was interested in sports and she became a national level volleyball player. On 12 April 2011, Arunima took a train. But she was pushed out of a general coach of the train by robbers wanting to snatch her bag and gold chain. As a result, her left leg had to be amputated below the knee.
Arunima reached the summit of Mount Everest at 10:55 am on 21 May 2013. She has been awarded Padma Shri and Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award (2016) and the First Lady award (2018).
Nature of Disability: tetra-amelia syndrome (absence of limbs)
Life and Achievements: He is a motivational speaker who has touched the lives of millions. He swims, plays football, and pretty much does everything, just like any other person. Nick didn’t let his disability stop him from staying happy, achieve his goals in life and live life to its fullest.
He founded an NGO named Life Without Limbs through which he motivates people to have faith in Jesus, who he believes gives him strength. He also starred in a short film called The Butterfly circus for which he was awarded the best actor in a short film by Method First Independent Film Festival.
Nature of Disability: amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) which gradually paralyzes the whole body over the years.
Life and Achievements: Stephen hawking stands among the most famous people with disabilities who have changed the world with their life’s work. He is a theoretical physicist and cosmologist. His work involves black holes, gravitational synergy theorems, quantum mechanics and a bunch of other things that I need another lifetime to understand. With a computer and speech-generating device, he is able to communicate with people. He has control over his cheek muscle which helps him to communicate. He is a prominent scientist who has greatly contributed to the theory of black holes.
Nature of Disability: Paralyzed(Lower body)
Life and Achievements: At the age of 21, she met with a car accident that left her lower body paralyzed. She started painting and discovered her skill when she was bedridden for 2+ months. While she painted portraits of sorrow and how she felt, others found her work absolutely astonishing. It has been almost 10 years since her accident, she is now a motivational speaker, a prolific artist and interestingly, a wheelchair model and television host. Rising from Pakistan, she wants the world to recognize the talent and zeal of Pakistani girls.
Nature of Disability: Deaf and Blind
Life and Achievements: An American author, political activist, and lecturer, Helen Keller was the first deaf and blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. Her story was famously portrayed in the play and film, The Miracle Worker, which documented how her teacher Anne Sullivan was finally able to develop a language that Helen could understand. Helen wrote a total of twelve published books, including her spiritual autobiography, My Religion, and was also a member of the Socialist Party in America.
Nature of Disability: Deaf
Life and Achievements: Beethoven is the greatest German composer and musician who was deaf in the latter part of his life. In his early life, he was famous as a pianist. He got the primary knowledge of music from his father, who was a musician. He has some mysterious power which led him to create famous compositions one after another. He went to Vienna and learned from some of the prominent musicians. After the age of 28, he started becoming deaf and his personal life was not so peaceful. He composed many piano sonatas such as Waldstein, Appassionata, etc.
Let’s take inspiration from the lives of these legends and take a pledge that no matter what, we should never give up when a hard situation arises.