Till year 1999, I had no idea about physical disability, how it is connected by the society with our past karma. How less are the opportunities for people who are fighting a battle with any type of disability and also a societal battle against inclusion.
The lone battle:
In the beginning it was not that bad as I was surrounded by many like me, there was a feel of pride in the air being Kargil injured. It is only afteran year of hospitalization that I realized how alone I was not just physically but also mentally and emotionally. There was no one to understand, what is the feeling of a highly active person suddenly going non-active at all. The transition of thoughts from being the one physically active to one who is restrained from many angles was the biggest challenge.
I wasn’t happy! Not at all with life.
I needed a purpose – a definite one and a challenging one.
First & foremost was to get on my feet – yeah! I had a new leg and I was enjoying the new organ. It brought me back on my feet and I was ready to take charge of my life – once again. While the battle of getting on my feet was won but this was just a part as injuries were all over. A long battle need to be fought to live a life of dignity. I was suffering through numerous losses – family, raising a little child without effecting his innocent heart in any negative way. But I had promised myself to not to compromise with quality of my life ever. Running ofcourse was an integral part of this quality life.
Finding the purpose:
1st Marathon which I ran in 2009, took me 3hours 49 minutes and I was absolutely fighting, struggling with my mind, body, heart & soul. Many firsts happened that day – I felt the hunger, I felt the elation and I felt the gratitude towards life. Most importantly, for the first time I could exercise control over my mind, the most difficult thing in life.
That is how started the journey of marathons. In 2011, it became the first blade run. And later few more 1sts.
Sports as the medium of Attitude Building:
I had found the purpose and I was ready to help people who were fighting the battle against disability. I vouched for inclusion of people with physical disability in the society and Sports was the medium. Sports are a great way to instill confidence & boost the mental attitude.
I found some like-minded people who were more than happy to join the cause and we were ready to bring the change.
I started a close FB group for amputees. Closed, because I did not wish anyone to get added and pass an inappropriate remark on any amputee to make him feel bad and lose whatever little courage he mustered after looking at few extra ordinary things like news about amputee running marathons.
But, it was not easy for me to make them speak to each other despite being in a secured arena. That was the effect of taboo we had made the disability into. Nevertheless, relentless efforts and basic positive instinct of every individual to live beautiful could not hold them for long. There started a journey of links. One to another and many got added as link to this chain and every new challenger, as I preferred to call amputees, passed his inspiration to other new joiners. Today TCO working life family grew to strength of 1700.
We are working through campaigns, events and tie-ups. If you know a person who is physically challenged and is seeking inspiration to be a challenger – reach us here or write to my team.
Let us vouch to convert the view point towards disability:
Someone is restricted by losing body part of its mobility because he/she is the chosen one who can perform and carry out things in much better way even in such state. He or she is not less abled, rather he or she is much more abled than any able bodied. A challenger and not a challenged.