How I learnt an extremely important life lesson from my friend with Cerebral Palsy
A year ago, I met Rajiv Rajan, an interesting and ambitious person with cerebral palsy, through Cerebral Palsy Today (CPT) – a non-profit group that a few friends and I run out of interest.
Rajiv is the executive director of Ektha, a disability rights organisation based in Chennai.
We have met a few times after that, while he helped us in creating awareness and various other projects that we did through CPT. But not a single time has he missed the chance to amaze me with his ambitious ideas for people with disability.
He struggles to speak, but his words always stem from a sharp intellect and clear mind – a quality that I envy about him.
A few months ago, I ran into him at one of the non-profit foundation events. He told me that he wants to prepare a team of players for boccia and eventually hold a State-level tournament.
I had no idea about what the game was all about nor was I too keen to know about it then. Half-heartedly, I shook his hand and said that it was a great idea, thinking that it must be just another one of his ambitious ideas.
I was wrong. I realized it was more than just an idea, when he sent me a message on WhatsApp saying that he is “READY”.
He was ready with a team of 6 players (with cerebral palsy) who has been practicing continuously for the past 5 months with the help of a coach. I was surprised and happy at the same time when I saw a few of them play the game and how things were progressing.
My smile broadened and my heart drowned in happiness when I realized Rajiv is doing something special here for himself and for those players.
He is taking few steps at a time to reach the ultimate goal of sending those players to the 2020 Paralympics.
And I realized that's all that is needed for us to achieve our goals in life. We just have to take few steps at a time to move towards what we really want in life. And nothing should stop us from doing what is needed, if we really want something.
Most of us do have a dream that has been eating our soul for years. Some of us even try to pursue our dreams, but we end up quitting. Why because, we always want quick results and need the circumstances to be as perfect as they can be for us to start. But Rajiv proved me that that's not how you take a step towards your goal.
I took a deep breath and shook his hand out of pride. And to gather some support for them, I invited the players (and the coach) to our office for a small demonstration of the game to learn more about the sport and see how I can get help.
My company, Beroe Inc., pitched in to sponsor them and some of my colleagues volunteered to support the team whenever needed.
To learn more about the game and how you can support Rajiv’s team, please contact Rajiv Rajan – firstname.lastname@example.org.