Disabling the disabilities

Written by Anirudh Vohra | Updated: Oct 5 2014, 06:55am hrs
Put together by Sudha Menon, who has written books like Legacy and Leading Ladies, and VR Ferose, former managing director of SAP Labs India and the father of a five-year-old with autism spectrum disorder, Gifted is a compilation of inspirational stories of 15 people, who, despite being disabled, believed they could get everything they wanted.

Take the case of Ashwin Kartik. When he was born, doctors told his mother that he was suffering from cerebral palsy. He had impaired muscle coordination. But Kartik, a quadriplegic, defied all odds to become a software engineer in Bangalore.

Gifted has many such accounts of people with disabilities since birth or caused due to accidents. There is the story of an ace musician who plays with one hand and a leg, a partially blind artiste who rose to become a comedian and a visually impaired marketing manager who secured a job at a big multinational. These are real people who have made it big despite all odds.

Gifted celebrates the human spirit and says the definition of disability varies from person to person. It says every human being is disabled in some way, whether its mentally or physically. There may be something you can do right now, but wont be able to do in a few years time when you are old.

These are stories we might have heard from friends or family, but ones that have never been documented. Movies like Barfi!, Taare Zameen Par and Paa, among others, have talked about differently-abled people and their success, proving that our focus shouldnt be on sympathising with specially-abled people, but on treating them with respect and consideration.