They have chosen a challenging public life with dignity by defying all odds. HT reporters Monica Sharma and Nikhil Sharma look into lives of some of the brave people who deserve a salute for their indomitable spirit.
RP Gupta (43), IAS
Haryana additional secretary (finance)
He was detected with retinitis pigmentosa, a degenerative eye disease that causes severe vision impairment, at the age of 18. As he turned 22, he completely lost his vision.
“I was in B Com second year when I had to leave studies. He, however, completed his graduation from Kurukshetra University and later went on to do bachelor of education (BEd). Gupta appeared for the Delhi Subordinate Services exam and was among the toppers. He cleared the Union Public Service Commission exam in the second attempt. Gupta started preparing for IAS soon after his marriage in 2004. He was already serving in the Delhi government.
“It was an announcement on the radio that a visually impaired will be selected to the IAS that motivated me. I thought this announcement was only for me,” said Gupta, who credits his success to his father and wife.
Gupta’s wife and father recorded the study material on audio cassettes which helped him crack the IAS.
Babita Bisht (41), Lawyer
Babita’s right arm did not develop since birth but she didn’t let her disability come in her way of success. She not only took up the profession of lawyer but also has been managing her house on her own. Her medical certificate reads 60% physical disability (ortho).
“What if God forgot to give me a complete hand. It’s his mistake. Why should I keep cribbing about it and sit back home and keep blaming the Almighty for my disability. I don’t need sympathy. I don’t want people to treat me like I am not normal since I have made myself efficient enough to lead a comfortable life,” said Babita.
“It was a setback for me when I realised that my arm would not develop. Even my father used to ask me not to do certain things which used to hurt me. My teachers used to arrange special writers for me during exams after which I started writing with my left hand. I didn’t let my disability hamper my happiness and goals in life.”
She added: “I drive my car, cook food for the family and even stitch clothes..”
Nipinder (23), hotel worker
Nipinder and his three siblings were born deaf and dumb to normal parents. All the brothers and sisters are between age of 15 and 25. Nipinder’s father works as a laundry man and his mother is a homemaker. His mother Sushila says: “I don’t know why all my children are like this? Doctors say they cannot be treated.”
Nipinder, a resident of Khuda Lahora, studied till Class 6 and has been working at the hotel for the past two years. Talking using sign language, Nipinder says his brother Pushpinder (also speech impaired) is working in another restaurant. He says they are earning their living by working and are happy. Nipinder does the housekeeping and front office work in the hotel. He says his teacher motivated him to take up the job and he feels complete as a person while earning for himself and his family.