My Story: 'I've Always Been On A Wheelchair But The Disability Never Bothered Me'

Maitri Shah was always questioned about her abilities and the people around her were bothered so as how would she accomplish things because of her disability. However, her determination to keep going ahead in life made her change things around and she has kept her hustle going.

Maharashtra   |   30 Aug 2020 6:36 AM GMT
Writer : Humans Of Bombay | Creatives : Ankita Singh
My Story: Ive Always Been On A Wheelchair But The Disability Never Bothered Me

Maitri Shah was always questioned about her abilities and the people around often thought as to how would she accomplish anything with her disability. However, her determination to keep moving ahead in life made her change things around.

"As long as I remember, I've always been on a wheelchair but the disability never bothered me. I loved going to school; I was great at academics! I'd have doctor appointments but after, my parents would always take me to the beach. I'd tell my friends that I'm going on a picnic; I didn't want their pity.

In my 10th, I studied hard–I wanted to get admission based on merit & not through the disability quota; I was on cloud 9 when I got 95%. But at the felicitation, people said–'You've scored so well despite your wheelchair'. I didn't like being treated specially.

So, I focused on my academics & got into an engineering college, where I was the 1st wheelchair student! The next few months were great until I fell ill & had to be ventilated. My relatives asked me to skip my exams–'Koi light course kar lo.'

But adamantly appeared for my exams with an oxygen cylinder. When I graduated, my principal said, 'Because of you, I'm confident about admitting more disabled students.'

I was looking forward to getting a job but in the final round, the HR said, 'Sorry, we wouldn't be able to offer you a job.' They didn't have provisions for disabled people! I was shattered. Once again, I was made to feel different.

But instead of expecting others to change things for me, I decided to start my own company to provide job opportunities to differently-abled people. Papa discouraged me as he felt I was too young, but mom said, 'If you can change even a single person's life, do it!'

People praised me, but no one was willing to invest. So, I did everything single-handedly & convinced papa to invest. I was scared–'What if it doesn't work? What if I lose the money?'

But three years later, I'm glad I took the risk–we've given jobs to over 30 differently-abled. When we placed a paralysed single mom, she said, 'I'm so lucky I met you; you've changed my life.'

Today I'm pursuing my Masters & my hustle has just begun. I won't stop until I incubate the next Stephen Hawking!

It feels amazing when youngsters from all over reach out to me; the only thing we want are equal opportunities. None of us sees our disability as a setback–it's only a matter of perception."

View this post on Instagram

"As long as I remember, I've always been on a wheelchair but the disability never bothered me. I loved going to school; I was great at academics! I'd have doctor appointments but after, my parents would always take me to the beach. I'd tell my friends that I'm going on a picnic; I didn't want their pity. In my 10th, I studied hard–I wanted to get admission based on merit & not through the disability quota; I was on cloud 9 when I got 95%. But at the felicitation, people said–'You've scored so well despite your wheelchair'. I didn't like being treated specially. So, I focused on my academics & got into an engineering college, where I was the 1st wheelchair student! The next few months were great, until I fell ill & had to be ventilated. My relatives asked me to skip my exams–'Koi light course kar lo.' But adamantly appeared for my exams with an oxygen cylinder. When I graduated, my principal said, 'Because of you, I'm confident about admitting more disabled students.' I was looking forward to getting a job but in the final round, the HR said, 'Sorry, we wouldn't be able to offer you a job.' They didn't have provisions for disabled people! I was shattered. Once again, I was made to feel different. But instead of expecting others to change things for me, I decided to start my own company to provide job opportunities to differently-abled people. Papa discouraged me as he felt I was too young, but mom said, 'If you can change even a single person's life, do it!' People praised me, but no one was willing to invest. So, I did everything single-handedly & convinced papa to invest. I was scared–'What if it doesn't work? What if I lose the money?' But 3 years later, I'm glad I took the risk–we've given jobs to over 30 differently abled. When we placed a paralysed single mom, she said, 'I'm so lucky I met you; you've changed my life.' Today I'm pursuing my Masters & my hustle has just begun. I won't stop until I incubate the next Stephen Hawking! It feels amazing when youngsters from all over reach out to me; the only thing we want are equal opportunities. None of us see our disability as a setback–it's only a matter of perception." #WorldEntrepreneursDay

A post shared by Humans of Bombay (@officialhumansofbombay) on

If you too have an inspiring story to tell the world, send us your story at

mystory@thelogicalindian.com

Suggest a correction

    Help Us Correct

    To err is human, to help correct is humane
    Identified a factual or typographical error in this story? Kindly use this form to alert our editors
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • Form Submitted Successfully
    Error in submitting form. Try again later

Contributors

Humans Of Bombay

Humans Of Bombay

contributor

Ankita Singh

Ankita Singh

Trainee Digital Journalist

A literature lover who likes delving deeper into a wide range of societal issues and expresses her opinions about the same. Keeps looking for best-read recommendations while enjoying her coffee and tea.

Next Story