It was the 2001 Gujarat Earthquakes that devastated many lives, including mine. I was just 6 years old, living in Kutch with my parents, attending a family function when the earthquake happened. The calamity was massive, and it shook the whole place. As the earthquake finally stopped, my parents found me lying somewhere with deeply injured. They rushed me to the hospital but couldn’t find a single bed. The whole Kutch was in shambles, many people died, and all the hospitals were full of patients. After 9 hours of waiting with the bleeding wound, I got help. I was in ICU for seven days, struggling to survive. I was diagnosed with spinal cord injury and lost sensation from the chest down. It came as a shock to my family. I was just a child of 6 years old with my whole life in front of me. It was shattering. No school was ready to admit me because a child in a wheelchair was an added responsibility. After all the struggles, a foundation got in touch with me and helped me enroll in one of the schools.
In school, I developed an interest in sports. I started engaging in various sports activities, and since 2006, I have been representing multiple NGOs. It was in 2015 that I took basketball seriously. With sheer hard work, I went on to play in the nationals. I bagged four medals in the Basketball National Championships. From there, I went on to get selected for many other national and international camps and tournaments. In one of these camps organized by the Wheelchair Basketball Federation of India, I got selected to represent India in an international tournament in Bali, Indonesia. I played as a defender there. For me, the moment of pride was when I won the bronze medal in the National para-badminton championship in the mix-doubles category in Dec 2021.
It was never easy, to begin with, but I was determined to practice and deliver my best. I am blessed to have such a supportive family who has been there through my ups and downs. They have backed all my dreams, be it in studies, sports, or anything else.
Along with my interest in sports, my career was also a top priority. I completed my graduation in B.com and then pursued MBA in marketing. After completion of my degree, I got a job at Deloitte.
I would urge people who are depressed because of their disability to get out of their rut and make their disability their strength. I don’t think anything should stop you from following your dreams. Remember, everybody has some limitation or the other. As long as the mind can envision the fact that you can do something, you can do it.