World Disability Day: Scholar Braves Cerebral Palsy to Get His PhD
When Akshansh Gupta was young, he was scared to face society. So scared that when his late mother sent him off to school, he would take a different route and skip school. The daily effort of getting ready, travelling and attending classes were strenuous for him as he was born with cerebral palsy.
Battling Great Odds
But the 32-year-old went on to defeat the odds and earn himself a doctorate degree in computer science from Jawaharlal Nehru University. He has written his thesis on ‘Brain Computer Interface’ and was in Malaysia to present a paper on it.
In his PhD, Akshansh tried to come up with a solution for a larger problem that faces people with disabilities. He says technology based on this idea, if made available and accessible, it will aid disabled people in their pursuit of higher education.
His Mother, His Pillar of Strength
Cerebral palsy – a neurological disorder – left him 95 per cent disabled. However, the 32-year-old didn’t allow his disability to defeat him. Born in Jaunpur, eastern Uttar Pradesh, he is the youngest among his five brothers and sisters. Being the youngest he was loved and pampered by all.
The force behind his recent achievement was his mother who wanted him to study.
With Mahajan’s Care
Other than his family and close friends, there is one more person who has played a major role in Akshansh’s life – his care taker who has been looking after him since 2003. A page in his PhD thesis says, “Dedicated to late mother, father and Mahajan.”
After his B.Tech, when Akshansh decided to study further and move to Delhi, he asked Mahajan if would go along with him on this journey. It wound’t be wrong to say that this PhD has been a journey the two saw together.
(Camera: Sanjoy Deb, Editor: Sunil Goswami)
(This piece is being republished from The Quint’s archives on World Disability day, originally published on 19 May 2016.)
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