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Defying all odds: Differently-abled Punjab youth to get national award

punjab Updated: Nov 25, 2016 14:49 IST
Aakanksha N Bhardwaj
vivek joshi

Vivek Joshi at his residence in Jalandhar on Thursday.(Sikander Singh Chopra/HT )

Sitting on a wheel-chair, with the ability to move just one hand, Vivek Joshi is all set to meet President Pranab Mukherjee on December 3 to receive national award. The 36-year-old was born with 100 % cerebral palsy. Joshi is the only person from Punjab who has been chosen for the award of self employed with disability.

Receiving a letter from the ministry of social justice and empowerment proved another milestone in his life. “Ye na samajhna mauhtaj hain hum, naye daur ke sartaj hain hum”, he hums lines from a self-composed poem.

With sparkling eyes, Joshi motivates his students, to never let any problem to win over them. Joshi has been giving free education to needy people in an open school in a nearby park.

Vivek Joshi along with his students at his residence in Jalandhar on Thursday. (Sikander Singh Chopra/HT)

An MBA and LLM by education, Joshi is now pursuing MA in social work and is determined to pursue PhD in disability law. Even as spasms in his body keep hindering his movements, Vivek says with confidence, “God has planned something for everyone and he has sent me to make others independent. That is exactly what I am doing.”

“When I was child I would get sad to see my friends play in my childhood, but now I am a completely different man,” says Joshi.

“I have dedicated my life towards helping others,” said Joshi. Joshi has also formed an NGO called Madhav Sewa Society and has started counselling of persons suffering from depression and psychosomatic disorders. His first book, Lafz Lafz was released by former president Dr APJ Abdul Kalam which he says was the best moment of his life. Joshi has also coordinated with an Australia-based NGO, Kick Drugs for delivering motivational lectures in educational institutes.

In 2011, he was given a state award for his social work by former Punjab minister Laxmi Kanta Chawla. He is a state-level chess player also.

Kaushalya Joshi, mother of Vivek told HT, “No one had ever imagined, not even doctors that he will reach this level, I feel so happy for my son.”

Subhash Joshi, his father and a retired government employee, said, “We feel so proud of him. It’s an emotional

moment.” Vivek Joshi doesn’t forget to thank his mentor, Amarjit Singh Anand, who also runs an NGO Chanan for differently abled.

“I have reached here because he has always motivated me and I owe my success to him.”