My Story: I Was Six-Months Old When Polio Got The Better Of Me

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My Story: 'I Was Six-Months Old When Polio Got The Better Of Me'

Saurabh Pandey got polio six months after his birth. He is disabled below the neck, but has lived life on his own terms after dropping out of NIFT in the second year, sustaining himself financially and emotionally.

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I was born in Allahabad and was just six months when I got polio. My polio was so severe that no other part of my body could work apart from my head. My parents went to several doctors, and I underwent many treatments, and we saw a slight improvement, but nothing more could be done. Today, I do my daily activities like eating, bathing, making my bed and so on. I was in Class 12 in Allahabad when I filled the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) form. I secured a place and came to study at NIFT in Delhi.

I was studying textile design but had to drop out in my second year. There are several things in the field that a physically challenged person cannot do, like weaving. My faculty supported me a lot, and I am so thankful for them. So when I dropped out of NIFT in the second year, I lied at my place, saying that I had taken a break and was going for an internship. I was not doing an internship and was just at my house in Delhi.

Wrote To Companies Endlessly

In my spare time, I learnt digital marketing through the internet. In 2014- 2015, Digital Marketing was relatively new in India, and everyone would do that. Then, I wrote emails to all the companies under Fortune 500. I kept writing to them until I got a 'no' from them or any other response. Luckily, one company agreed to take the application process further and agreed to provide me with a job. While I was working, I further honed my skills in digital marketing and started taking up clients outside my job. Everything was going okay, but since I could not walk, I required an electric wheelchair. I did not have enough money to buy one for me.

So my friend and I ran a campaign on a crowd-funding platform and managed to collect ₹4,10,000 to buy a new wheelchair. However, the problem is that I cannot go outside my house because I live in an area that is not disabled-friendly. My next target is to move into a better area, but I do not have the money for it. It has been ten years since I dropped out of NIFT, and I have just gone outside once with the help of my brother, that too, to apply for my Aadhar card.

Lost My Job In The Lockdown

When I started becoming a little stable financially, the lockdown happened, and I lost my job. My other clients also reduced the amount they paid because everyone was facing a cash crunch. After the lockdown ended, I started content creation on Instagram. Up until now, I am not earning through this, but I am doing it because I wanted to do it. I want to keep going ahead with the same attitude and hope to achieve great heights in my career.

If you too have an inspiring story to tell the world, send us your story at mystory@thelogicalindian.com


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Editor : Ankita Singh
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Creatives : Ratika Rana

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