He conquered death 17 years back just to drive his paralysed body on a wheelchair. But defeat was not an option for this 36-year-old soldier.
A fighter, Navin Gulia, finally climbed the highest mountain pass to prove his mettle and became a source of inspiration for many. Gulia, an ex-army officer has revealed his never-to-give-up spirit in his autobiography 'In Quest of the Last Victory', which has been published by Pearson.
Born in a soldier's family, he always aspired to be an army officer. At the age of 18 he joined the National Defence Academy in Pune after clearing the national-level entrance exam. But soon after joining the elite Para Commandos, a unit of the special forces of the Indian Army, as an officer, his life took a fateful turn.
While leading his unit in an obstacle crossing competition, he suffered a serious injury in his neck, which paralysed him for life. The doctors gave him only three days to live. The soldier fought to survive but remained confined to a hospital bed for two years.
When the life and people around him wrote him off, he rose from the ashes. The wheelchair and a medical report describing him as 'permanently 100% disabled' did not deter him to define his ability on his terms.
From the time he could barely move his wheelchair himself, he succeeded in adventure driving, flying, and crossing high mountain passes, including the 18,000-ft Marsimik La pass in Jammu and Kashmir.
After completing Masters in computer from Symbiosis Institute, Pune, Gulia cleared the National Eligibility Test (NET) of the UGC.
The soldier now runs a charitable organisation ADAA (Apni Duniya Apna Ashiana), which works for the empowerment of underprivileged children, including the differently-abled and poor kids.
He is now a motivational preacher and visits many prestigious institutions as a guest speaker.