When life throws challenges at you, there are two things you can do. You either pick up yourself and move ahead or sit in a corner mulling over what went wrong in your life.
Picking yourself and moving ahead might be a tough thing to do, but it’s worth the efforts. It helps you to introspect, draw energy from within yourself, and gives you the strength to overcome the debacles and challenges. When you fight the challenges, you realize how strong you are! You see yourself in a different light and accept yourself more happily.
Whereas, when you sit in a corner mulling over your failures, you head into a never-ending quicksand called depression that can damage you forever.
People have a special ability that helps them to survive. I implore you to discover that within you and work towards sharpening your strengths.
You think it’s easier said than done?
Well, let me tell you my story. Maybe that could give you the courage to discover yourself and move ahead in life.
My name is Nishant Khade. Like every other 23-year-old man, I had my dreams and ambitions. I had planned what I wanted to do in future; I knew where I would go on my next trip. Life was beautiful, until one day I met with an accident. I became quadriplegic. Imagine, just a few days ago, I was dreaming of doing new things, and here I was lying motionless in the hospital. I loved travelling, but who knew travelling in the next two years would mean going in and out of hospitals in Delhi and Mumbai.
I was depressed. I had lost all hopes of living a normal life. I was going to accept my disability as fate, when suddenly my friend and mentor (now my brother) Arvind Praboo came into my life.
Arvind also used a wheelchair, but his never-say-die attitude was infectious and inspiring. He was the one who urged me to stop self-sympathy and focus on rehabilitating myself. I started my physiotherapy sessions and learned to build a new life. Today, I live independently with my wife and manage over 1000+ employees in DAS offshore. Sometimes, I wonder what would have happened if Arvind had not met me. I would have been a quadriplegic depending on others for every small thing. I would have never met my friend, my life partner Sheetal. No matter what you plan, life takes you through various twists and turns. Learn to accept them and move forward. It adds a new perspective to your life.
Fix a Goal To Motivate You
Everybody needs something to motivate him or her. For some, it is money, for the other few it is fame, and for people like Arvind and me, it is a cause to improve the condition of the society. When I joined DAS Offshore a few years after the accident, I witnessed the problems that physically challenged people face daily. Right from the infrastructure to the transportation, physically challenged people had to face many issues at every step while going to work. Arvind had started an initiative called Access4all to address the mobility issues in Mumbai. I decided to join hands with him to help our physically challenged citizens to move around the city freely under the guidance of experts. We redesigned a few vans by adding an iron ramp to push a wheelchair into the van. We added an air conditioner to make the ambience cool for the passengers, provided charging points for laptops and mobile phones, and made flexible seating arrangement that can be adjusted according to the number of wheelchairs. We also tied up with various hotels in Mumbai and with the airports to make travel and accommodation comfortable for people. We even travelled extensively across the length and breadth of India to audit the accessibility of tourist places, Universities, and official buildings. Until that tour, beyond barrier was just a means to fulfil my quest for travelling. However, after interacting with different people across India and seeing the beauty of our country, my resolve to make India barrier-free became stronger.
I shuttle between my job in DAS Offshore, offering consultancy to state governments on improving the infrastructure, and my pet project Access4All. There are days when I am completely absorbed in all of them with no time for myself. However, I have no regrets. My goal is to make India disabled-friendly, and I am motivated to achieve it.
So, that’s what it is. Find a goal for yourself; it can be anything as small as staying away from junk food for a week to something as humungous as quitting your job to start your pet project. Whatever be the goal, stick to it and move towards it. Your motivation and passion will ensure that no debacle stops you from achieving the goal.
I hope you found some solace in my story. If you did, then stand up, dust yourself and start working on your goals. I am sure you will be proud of yourself when you look back at the journey you undertook, a few years later.
I am the Director of DAS Offshore, a renowned construction company in India with expertise in fabrications, erections, and installations. I oversee Labour Management, Logistics, and Administration for the company.
I am also the Director of Access4All Social Foundation. Our mission is to remove barriers that restrict the mobility of people with disabilities and #MakeIndiaAccessible. I have also conducted an Audit report of entire India's tourist places which I would like to highlight and bring into notice.