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The power of one

This is the story of 32 year old Akshsansh Gupta, suffering from cerebral palsy since birth and is 95 percent disabled. His lower limbs are dysfunctional. He can neither feed himself, nor pull his wheelchair. He has difficulty in speaking too. But none of his troubles have been able to stop him from completing his PhD in brain and computer interface, that too from the prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Delhi.

Surely Akshsansh has come a long way, but his journey was not easy. From trouble getting admission at a primary school in his hometown Jaunpur in Uttar Pradesh, to travelling between Malaysia and India to present his research paper; he has seen it all. Akshsansh is hoping to get a job in JNU and continue his research.

With great humility, Akshsansh thanks Mahajan, a rickshaw puller who ferried him every day from home to his college while he was pursuing his BTech degree. The unlikely duo travelled 15 kilometers while they together dreamt of a day which has now come true. Akshsansh, however, is not particularly happy with the way government frames policies for the disabled in India without consulting those affected. “Because we are not vote banks,” he says.

I salute your indomitable spirit Akshsansh!
Thanks Mithu Alur for this insight.