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CTH Story of Atul Prakash Purti

Copyright © 2010 Cross the Hurdles. All rights reserved.
Atul Prakash Purti, a fighter in real sense of the term, a 'braveheart' who is managing to live life to the fullest with self respect and loads of self esteem even in spite of his being a quadriplegic...He has swam against the flow and has managed to bounced back to life with his indomitable courage and a never exhausting positive attitude.He has proved that bravery is not only a virtue to be shown in a battlefield.But the battle of life is many more times fiercer. So unless one possesses this kind of a valor, one cannot move ahead in life..Atul is a live example of this!!
Please tell us about the adjustment process and difficulties faced by you after your accident. How did you manage to rehabilitate yourself physically and mentally?

Well It’s quite shocking when you open your eyes in hospital and you can’t move any part of the body and the worst thing, the doctors tell you that you are paralyzed below the neck and will remain like this rest of your life. Imagine the trauma the person faces, but actually it’s not bad as it sounds. I was upset about my condition but i never gave up, my family supported me a lot in the initial stage and from then i never looked back. The fight is the most in our minds, if it’s in control nothing is impossible. I went to CMC, Vellore for my rehabilitation. This phase was tough but fun too, learning new ways to do the same things which i never thought are so important such as feeding myself, dressing, shaving, learning to write, typing etc.. I enjoyed it because it gave me a sense of achievement and much more than that joy in my parent’s faces.

How do you manage your day to day activities? With somebody's help or you are able to cope up with routine activities yourself?
Yes i need help with my daily activities, but i try to do as much as i can. Moreover the conditions here are not at all disable friendly which makes us more dependent on others.

How did you decide about your career advancement and how did you find your current job?
I met with the accident just after my graduation in 2003. I did nothing for 2 years, most of those 2 years passed in rehabilitation and recovery. After that i started giving tuition to the nearby kids, it helped me to get back to books and i increased my writing speed got friendlier with the computers( i can’t move my fingers), but i was missing my social life and wanted to get back to mainstream, plus i can’t be doing this all my life. I started preparing for MBA entrance exams and got through XAT in 2007 and joined XISS, Ranchi. I completed in 2009 and then cleared the NTPC exams and now working there.

What is your idea of a perfect life?
“PERFECT LIFE” is an ideal situation but is never possible so the best thing is try to make most of it. Do things that make you happy and that bring joy to you loved ones and people about whom you care.

What improvements do you think still have to be made to make India a "Disabled Friendly Country?
In India we are in the nascent stage of making it a disable friendly country. Things are changing but the pace is very slow. I remember the days in my college where i had to be carried with my wheelchair to the first floor, and it was an everyday exercise. More than anything important today is to spread awareness about disability issues like accessibility, education, employment etc. I knew about these issues only when I landed up in the wheelchair, and i wonder how many of the able bodied people will know about these issues. This is Government’s job, but in our country where there are other things to worry about, we don’t expect from them a lot. So my request to everyone in disability community is to come out, let people see what difficulty we face and it will helps the cause.

How do you manage your coming and going to the place of your work?
I stay in NTPC Township at Dadri, U.P. I have a modified Santro which I use for commuting. In office I manage it with my manual wheelchair. I have an automatic chair which i use occasionally.

It happens with all of us that we feel depressed with our situation and coping up becomes difficult. Whenever you confront such situations how do you manage?
I was really down after my accident. But the support i got from my family and friends was amazing and was lucky to come out of that phase in no time. I always keep a positive attitude and love fighting out the odds. I believe one doesn’t need whole body to enjoy life, so this keeps me away from getting depressed.

What are your hobbies or leisure time activities?
I love music, movies. I was into sports before but now i like watching them. I do read books generally autobiographies, history and fiction. I love driving my car but not yet been for a long trip as I am yet to obtain my driving license.

How do you react when somebody pities you?
If they feel sorry for me I listen and ignore it. If they try to help me I allow them to do because if today i stop him/her they will be discouraged and won’t help others in need. If they stare, I know I am the odd person. It really doesn’t bother me what others are thinking.

What message you would like to give to the persons suffering from some kind disabilities?
Have fun, enjoy life, work hard to fulfill your dreams and keep yourself and your loved ones happy. Once you have achieved it really doesn’t matters one is able or disable.

Have you ever been discriminated because of your disability?
At times but one should know the rules, law and have a big mouth to stand against it.

What do you think about Cross The Hurdles?

It is a great work you’ll are doing. I don’t think that i have come across such a site in India who has such important issues related to disability. All my best wishes to you and your team.

Atul Prakash Purti
Dadri, Uttar Pradesh

Education: B.COM (St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata),PGDPM & IR (XISS, Ranchi)
MaritalStatus: Single
Disability: Spinal Cord Injury C5-C6 complete (Quadriplegic)
Profession: NTPC Ltd. (Officer – HR)
Contact: atulprak@yahoo.co.in

Quick Fire!

Favorite movie(s)
Golmaal old, Saving Pvt. Ryan, Sound of music, Bucket List, Gandhi.

Favorite books
White Tiger, God of Small Things, Stay Hungry Stay Foolish.

Favorite food

Your biggest wish
To become a social entrepreneur.

Craziest thing that you have done in your life
Yet to do.

Most Valuable thing that you have purchased till now
My car.

Thing which you want to reverse in your life
My injury.

Your biggest strength
My attitude.

If you take birth again, who would you like to be born as
Any US president to feel what its like to be the most powerful man in the world.

The thing(s) that I hate
Fake people.

The first thing you do right after awaking up in the morning
Switch off the alarm

The last thing you do before falling asleep at night
Switch off the T.V

You prefer sons or daughters?

Oft repeated word/sentence by you
Thank you.

If the world is going to be destroyed in 5 minutes, what would you do during this time
Have a wonderful meal with my family.

Your new year resolution
I don't believe in this.

The best gift that somebody can offer you
A bottle of French wine.

Your bedroom take fire what would you rescue at first

The country/town you would like to visit
Las Vegas.

If you can meet one person of your choice, dead or alive, known or not, who would this be
Bob Marley.

If you could change one thing your past, what would it be
My rehabilitation after my accident.