Meet five unsung heroes who are breaking all the stigmas to live upto the statement that “Disability is just a state of mind”

What is it about stories like these that so inspire and fill one with hope? Could it be the belief that you and I can achieve similar success if we set our minds and hearts to it? After all, everyone faces adversity, they dream, and they work hard. It is another matter that only a few cross the threshold of limits set by society.


1) Sharath Gayakwad, Paralympic swimmertumblr_inline_o5besvHKAS1twcdiq_540

Being born with a deformed left hand did not deter this starry-eyed kid who started taking swimming lessons when he was just 9. Sharath recently created history by winning 6 medals at the Para Incheon Asian Games 2014. With this, he broke the legendary PT Usha’s 28-year-old record at the Asian Games. Not only this, he also has over 30 international and 40 national medals to his name. He was also the first Indian to qualify for the London Olympics for the disabled in 2010. Kudos to you, Sharath!

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2) Navin Gulia, Limca World Record holdertumblr_inline_o5beuqrNRT1twcdiq_540

Delhiite Navin Gulia wanted to join the Army as a commander, but life had otherplans for him. Gulia was paralysed after a sports accident that left his spine badly injured. However, you got to do what you got to do, right? Believing in this mantra, he pursued his love for adventure sports which even booked him a place in the Limca Book Of Records. He became the first person to drive from Delhi to Marsimikla at 8,632 feet, which is the world’s highest motorable pass, in 55 hours without any break. Hats off to Navin!

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3) Siddu. S. Loute, the human computertumblr_inline_o5bf4l1ZCX1twcdiq_540

Visually impaired and hailing from a small family in Karnataka, Siddu was abandoned by his family at a tender age of 5 but that didn’t deter Siddu to let go off his aspirations. He developed an interest in mathematics so much so that he can even memorise multiplication tables upto 99 crore. He completed his pre-university schooling under difficult circumstances and is currently pursuing his five-year LLM course at the M.S. Ramaiah College in Bangalore. He wants to appear for the IAS Entrance Exams but he needs a Braille printer to convert soft copies into their Braille versions which he simply cannot afford. To help him fundraise, you can support him here.

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4) Padma Shri Dr. Malathi K Hollatumblr_inline_o5bf5xKoq11twcdiq_540

When one-year-old Malathi’s parents got to know that she had polio, they were devastated. The raging fever left her paralyzed from the neck down and the little girl underwent surgery after surgery but to no avail. She did gain some strength in her upper body, but the lower parts remained dysfunctional. But Malathi did not give up. Her journey from being a helpless kid to Padma Shri awardee is awe-inspiring. She has also won the Arjuna Award with over 400 medals in shot put, discus, javelin, wheelchair race and obstacle race. After living a hard life for years, she decided to open the Mathru Foundation in Bangalore for differently-abled children from rural India. At 56, she is still the fastest female Indian athlete on a wheelchair. We have only one word for her – Respect!

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5) Major Devender Pal, India’s blade runner

Meet India’s blade runner, Major Devender Pal. Despite losing his right leg to a Pakistani mortar during the Kargil War, Pal challenges himself each passing day, making his disability his strength. His determination to do something different and his never-say-die attitude has seen him become India’s first blade runner. His passion for running has seen him participate in 9 marathons. After he ran three half marathons with a normal walking leg successfully, the army came to his rescue and gave him an Ireland-made prosthesis which costs about Rs 4.5 lakh. You are truly an inspiration, sir!

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These are just a few heroes that inspired us, feel free to share more such stories with us. We’d love to hear from you.


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