My life’s journey as a Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) warrior began from the day I was born, marked by special challenges and unwavering determination. As a child, I faced my first hurdle with a bent left leg, leading me into the care of doctors and frequent plaster castings until the age of three. Little did I know that more significant trials awaited me, as I was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy at the age of five.
DMD, a rare genetic condition causing progressive muscle weakness, became a badge I had to bear, unaware of the profound impact it would have on my life. At the age of eight, I realized my speed and strength did not match those of my peers, raising concerns during playtime. My mother’s comforting words assured me that therapy would help me walk normally, offering a glimmer of hope and relief.
As I reached ten years old, walking became increasingly challenging, making each step feel like scaling mountains despite the ongoing therapy. My mother then introduced me to a new friend – a wheelchair, opening a new chapter in my life. Accepting this change was difficult initially, but with time and encouragement from my younger brother, who was also affected by DMD, I learned to embrace the wheelchair as a vital part of my daily life.
My brother became my mentor and angel, inspiring me to smile through every situation. Racing each other – him on a bicycle, me on a wheelchair – became a joyful tradition. My friends at school accepted the wheelchair with light-heartedness, even calling it my “Mercedes” and making sure I felt like any other child.
In 11th standard, we shifted to Jammu, and new challenges emerged. Many schools rejected my admission due to my disability, but one school accepted me, although the class was not on the ground floor. Despite facing isolation and lack of communication with my peers initially, I found solace in my studies. In the end, my hard work paid off, and I achieved 93 percent, becoming the state topper. After this academic triumph, the school started recognizing me, and my hoardings were posted everywhere in Jammu city and highways. To add to my joy, I was awarded the state topper trophy by the Jammu and Kashmir cabinet minister.
I found my identity and confidence
Through focusing on my studies, I found my identity and confidence, achieving 84 percent in the 10th standard. This accomplishment reinforced my belief that with determination and a sharp mind, success is attainable, regardless of physical challenges.
During my BCA graduation, I experienced college life to the fullest, enjoying outings, trying new places, and forming a great friend circle. My post-graduation journey led me to Gujarat, where I encountered professional challenges in campus placements. Some companies rejected me due to my disability, but Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) recognized my abilities without hesitation, offering me a job opportunity.
Throughout my journey, one tagline has been my guiding light: “Never give up, whatever obstacle may come.” Just as nature forms beautiful creations like valleys, mountains, lakes, and rivers after enduring hardships, I believe that life’s challenges shape us into stronger and more resilient individuals.
In addition to my professional success, I cherish hobbies such as traveling, listening to music, and writing short quotes. I hope my story serves as a message to all – that determination, resilience, and the power of education can overcome any obstacle. With the right mind sets, we can turn adversities into opportunities and achieve greatness in our own unique ways.