Viral gods and the Indian Internet at large has always appreciated the differently-abled community.
After all, it was just the other day, that desi netizens gave lots of salaams to Zomato’s differently-abled driver-partner, Ramu. Who went viral for delivering food to customers using a hand-operated tricycle.
Zomato’s CEO, then, announced that the company had gifted him an electric vehicle to ease his delivery duties.
Ramu’s happy. We are happy. The company (and their PR) is very happy.So move on, shall we? Well, not until we stomach the fact that Ramu is actually just one of the ‘lucky’ ones from the community, who has been able to get himself a job.
Part of the reason why the differently-abled community still remains unemployed is that there’s a huge misconception that the community is just not employable.
That’s just not true. Disabled people, in today’s language, can slay.
And here’s just a teaser of all the amazing things disabled people can do, besides the hero of our story, Ramu, of course!
1. Be Rally Drivers
Wheeling away all staid stereotypes about persons with disability, Vikram Agnihotri has been enjoying all the thrills of life that being a rally driver has to offer. Agnihotri is a double amputee, who lost both his arms in an electric shock at the age of seven.
He did not let that get in the way of his love for driving. Disability news website NewsHook reports that he is the first Indian driving with feet to get a license.
Today, Vikram competes in sporting events as a professional car rally driver. Some of the motor sport events he has participated in are Desert Storm 2018, where he was a second runners-up, and also the Malwa Sprint 2019.
Agnihotri racing away from disabled stereotypes like...
2. Be Professional Golfers
Born with a hearing impairment, prodigy golfer Diksha Dagar won her first professional title at 18.
Today, Dagar, who wears hearing aids, can boast of many wins.
She’s the second Indian to win a title on the Ladies European Tour (LET), and was also a front-runner in the race for LET’s ‘Rookie of the Year’ award in 2016.
Diksha has been encouraged by her father, Narender Dagar to never view her disability as an impediment in the way of her goals. Needless to say, she can be safely counted among India’s high-performing women golfers.
3. Be Politicians
Meet Sudeep Shukla, India's first deaf-mute candidate, who participated in the 2018 Madhya Pradesh assembly elections.
Born deaf and mute, Shukla, who is an engineer by training, decided to run as an independent candidate from Satna for the assembly elections.
Although he came seventh in terms of votes, from a list of 31 candidates, Shukla is an example of how the disability community can look at any field to get into.
Shukla isn’t the only one.
Yamuna Prasad Shastri, who was a member of the Lok Sabha from MP, was totally blind.
4. Become ‘Regular’ Corporate Employees
Visually impaired content writer? Check.
Divya Sharma is proof that when it comes to creating content, all you need is an articulate mind and cohesive thoughts. Oh, and BTW, Divya also doubles up as an RJ for Radio Udaan, a radio channel for people with disabilities.
Besides Divya, there’s other members from the community, who are adding to the productivity of their offices.
Whether it’s the wheelchair-using graphic designer, Sai Kaustuv, or Bhupendra Tripathi, a paralysis warrior and central banker.
5. Lastly, Be a Legendary Fauji As Well
Yes, no hurdle is too big to cross. Just ask legendary fauji, Major General Ian Cardozo, who’s the first differently-abled officer in the Indian Army to command an infantry battalion and a brigade.
Even though India defeated Pakistan in the 1971 war, Ian, who was then a Major in the 5 Gorkha Rifles accidentally stepped on a landmine and for fear of infection spreading further, had to cut off his severely wounded leg with his own khukri (knife).
But certainly, that unfortunate incident did not stop the man from achieving military glory.
So yes, just as the Zomato delivery boy, these examples also reinforce the point that the disabled community can actually do *anything*, if only society enables them!
After all, these examples are proof that when we begin to view people from their abilities, rather than disabilities, we can actually build a more inclusive society.