At an age when teenagers are enjoying their new-found freedom, Deepak Saini found himself in a deep pit of sadness and hopelessness. All of 17, he lost his left leg in an unfortunate accident and life was never the same again.
Desolate and heartbroken, he isolated himself from everyone. Until one day, when he dismantled his fears and emerged as a hero whom everyone hailed.
It was an uneventful morning in 2014 when Deepak, along with a few of his friends, had boarded the Ambala-Yamunanagar train to reach their college. An elderly lady in the coach requested him to fill up her water bottle. While returning with two water bottles in hands, Deepak tried to catch the train which had begun to move slowly, he lost control and fell on the platform.
Suddenly, his backpack got stuck in one of the compartments and Deepak fell on the track. In the blink of an eye, the young lad saw his life turning upside down. He describes that moment as a vague dream that he was unwilling to believe.
After spending about a week in the hospital, he learned that he was missing his left leg from below the hip. Shocked beyond belief, he was angry and bitter at how he was suddenly rendered handicapped. Speaking to ScoopWhoop he said,
I yelled at doctors to re-attach it and was angry at everyone. For two whole years, I didn't feel even a pinch of happiness. I didn't want to walk using the crutches as it reminded me of the beggars on the street.
After a lot of encouragement from friends and family, Deepak resumed going to college where he was deeply bothered by people staring at his amputated leg.
Whenever I showed reluctance in going out, my friends pushed me hard. They'd ask me to go out a bring something from the shop or do things that required me to step out with crutches.
With steady support from his friends, Deepak finished his training. Meanwhile, he also came across a video of an amputee Kerala model who. It gave him a renewed sense of confidence and he watched that video over and over again.
Slowly, he came out of his shell began doing things that interested him earlier. The turning point in his life came when a group, started by Major DP Singh, India's first Bladerunner, came across a video of Deepak playing cricket and invited him to be a part of the group.
There was a dance competition held in Chandigarh's Elante mall and I was reluctant to participate. But my mentors of the group persuaded me. When I saw other amputee participants dancing and doing stunts, I felt encouraged and gave it my best. After a training of 15 days, I surprised myself and everyone else with a terrific dance performance.
Today, Deepak is a whole new man. He's left the feeling of despair far behind and embraces life as a gift.
I learned to ride a bike, take part in marathons and play a mentor to people who've lost all hopes.
When asked what's that one thing he learned during his struggle, without a pause he says:
"There's nothing that can beat a person's willpower. If you have the will, you can combat the worst of circumstances, no matter what."
He was also featured on Humans of Bombay where his story was liked by over 10k people. He mentions how an Instagram post changed everything for him.
But a sign from the universe changed everything. I stumbled upon a page on Instagram of a man with a missing limb like mine. He hadn’t let anyone stop him from achieving his dreams. He’d even painted his crutches to make them look savvy. I was so motivated to know that there were others like me out there but they didn’t use their loss as an excuse to stop living. So what was I doing?
Deepak is a true example that when the going gets tough, the tough get going!