I was treated as a burden

“I met with an accident when I was 3 year old. A Lorry ran over my left leg in a rush when I was playing on the street in my native. It was painful and the bone was fractured and for some time, I was not able to walk. However, with some treatment, I got little relief but it was not enough. At that situation, my father, a vegetable vendor, thought that this is the end of my life. I realized for the first time in the life how it feels to be neglected. I was treated as a burden. I was shifted from Convent to Government school. Father told me to focus on the studies in a hope that if I get a job in an office, I could perform my responsibilities easily by sitting on the chair. Nevertheless, I was interested in sports. Had I been given proper exposure in sports, I could have definitely raised to the height of Excellency. But I was neglected everywhere. In school, the staffs would cast aside me from participating in any competition because of my disability. They were afraid that if some injury happens to me, they would be held answerable. I wanted this to end once and for all and to my surprise, it happened dramatically when I was in 8th standard practicing for Kho-Kho competition. In order to pacify the school administration, officials created a dummy team for disabled students like me so as to justify that equal opportunity is provided to every student to compete. I took this as an opportunity to prove that I have the ability to perform better than some of the able students around me. Backed up with self confidence and practice, out of 12 teams, I was able to make my team reach the finals of the competition. Though, we lost in the final but my efforts were appreciated. People started taking my seriously after that.”

————Dharmaraj, Bangalore————

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