Nobody’s life is a bed of roses. We all have to fight our share of struggles and what makes all the difference is how you fight them. A positive attitude, no matter how much of a cliché it sounds like, can make a huge difference to your life. This story is quite old, but it is one of those which everyone must know.
21-year-old Naresh graduated from IIT Madras in Computer Science and joined Google in Bengaluru. There are thousands of people who pass out of institutes like IIT and make it big. What is special about Naresh is that he had to beat unusual odds to be where he is.
Naresh lost his legs in an accident and now moves around in his powered wheelchair.
Full of optimism and spirit, Naresh says, “ God has always been planning things for me. That is why I feel I am lucky.”
His vividly remembers some things about his childhood. His father Prasad was a lorry driver and mother, a housewife. In spite of being illiterate, they motivated him to study. Naresh has vivid memories of his childhood. He remembers being very active. “I used to be very naughty, running around and playing all the time with my friends… I used to get a lot of scolding for disturbing the elders who slept in the afternoon.”
He also remembers the day when he lost his legs.
” On January 11, 1993, when we had the Sankranti holidays, my mother took my sister and me to a nearby village for a family function. As there were no buses that day, my mother took a lift in my father’s friend’s lorry. There were many people in the lorry so he made me sit next to him, close to the door.”
“It was my fault; I fiddled with the door latch and it opened wide throwing me out. As I fell, my legs got cut by the iron rods protruding from the lorry.”
The accident had happened just in front of a big private hospital, but they refused to treat him because it was an accident case. Then a police constable who was passing by took him to a government hospital, where he underwent an operation as his small intestine got twisted. In no time, gangrene had developed in his legs and his both legs were amputated up to the hips.
“I remember waking up and asking my mother: Where are my legs? I also remember that my mother cried when I asked the question.”
Naresh does not think that his life dramatically changed after the accident. He enjoyed the love and affection he got from his family and friends, who made him feel like a normal kid. They used to push him around on a cycle and made sure that he was included in every game.
” I never wallowed in self-pity”
He moved to Tanuku and joined a missionary school. He was inspired by two people in his school, his Maths teacher, Pramod Lal who encouraged him to participate in various local talent tests, and his senior called Chowdhary, who motivated him to compete for IIT-JEE. He was 4th in the Physically Handicapped Category and joined IIT, Madras to study Computer Science. Here his role model was Karthik, who was also his former school-senior.
He believes that these four years evolved him, both academically and personally.
“The people I was interacting with were so brilliant that I felt privileged to sit with them in the class. Just by speaking to my lab mates, I gained a lot… There are more good people in society than bad ones”
He also mentions about Jaipur foot , w hich he got when he was in 3rd standard. After two years, he stopped using them as it was very tough to tie them to the body. The organisation not only helped him to walk again but also asked what help he needed from them.
“I told them that if get into IIT, I’d need financial help from them. So, from the day I joined IIT- Madras, my fees were taken care of by them.”
We all have excuses to not work hard enough for what we want, but honestly, that is not going to take us anywhere. All we need is to keep fighting.
Way to go, Naresh! You inspire us all to dream and achieve.