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CTH Story of Pooja Sharma

Copyright © 2010 Cross the Hurdles. All rights reserved.
Relentless efforts and a strong will power have been behind Pooja's rehabilitation. She is definitely an achiever.

Pooja's story in her own words

I had a tumor on backbone by birth which was operated upon when I was just 40 days old. Due to the negligence of the surgeon, my nerves got damaged and hence disabled my lower body completely, making me a full time wheelchair user. I have Bifida (not sure about exact medical terminology). It has no cure in medical science so far! ".
Did you find any problems while you were doing your studies/ job. I mean did lack of infrastructure in the Indian scenario pose any kind of problems for you?'

Yes, I have faced lots of challenges not because of my disability but because of infrastructure and due to narrow Indian mindset towards a disable person. Most of the people see disable person under different line which posed lot of problem for me. My College at graduation level was not completely disable friendly! There were no elevators, though there were ramps & disable friendly washroom. But sometimes classes were conducted on first floor &I had no option but to miss them. As per government norms, Govt colleges & organizations should be disabled friendly. But is this really true? I doubt! There are lot of colleges and public sector undertakings which are not at all disabled friendly. In spite of being a private college, Jaypee Business School was completely friendly and I never faced any problem. Earning a college degree is all about opening up opportunities in life! But Even after obtaining a good level of education I faced lot of problem in getting a good job just because of Indian infrastructure as most of the organizations were not disabled friendly & more importantly mindset of the employers is not disabled friendly! Finally, I got an opportunity to work with Jaypee Group. They realized my hidden potential & gave me an opportunity to work with them. They made all the necessary arrangements for me & even today they consider me a valuable asset & always take care of my basic needs.

I am looking forward for Govt job and am giving examination for the same. But what I am finding is that even the exam centers are not disable friendly. Imagine an exams being conducted on second floor (with no lifts) for a disable person. It’s a mockery of the system and humiliation of the individual.


How do you manage your day to day activities. Please give us a brief description whether it is with somebody's help or you are able to cope up with routine activities yourself?

My home & workplace are completely disabled friendly which makes me even more independent. I don’t need any assistance or help in doing my routine work, I am completely independent. All help I need is a driver to drive me to office.


Do you feel India is a disabled friendly country? What are your hopes from Accessible India Campaign?

Let’s be honest, India Is not a disabled friendly country! Most of the places are still beyond the reach for a wheelchair user. But as I can see that lot of people have joined hands to work towards the development & welfare of disabled people, I hope things changes.

Accessible India Campaign is a program which is set to be launched to serve the differently-able community of the country. I expect this campaign to build an environment where disables are treated at par with normal people be it in terms of education, employment or accessibility. I wish that India would become a better country to live in for persons with disabilities.


Have you ever felt any kind of emotional outbursts or complexes due to your physical status? If yes then how could you manage it?? change in your emotional reactions in different stages in your life?

No, I haven’t come across such situation till now. Yes I have faced problems but that’s because of Indian infrastructure not because of my physical status.


What are your hobbies or leisure time activities?

In my free time, I like music, hanging out with friends (though not many left, as most of them are married have their own lives),apart from this, I like observing new people. I am very spiritual, love reading religious books in my leisure time. But one thing which I like doing most is helping others in whatever way I can.

How do you react when somebody pities you?

I haven't come across such situation because I never let others feel pity on me. I believe others will see you the way you want them to see you. It entirely depends on how you present yourself in front of others, if you present yourself as a stronger person in front of others who is not scared of facing challenges, then nobody will feel pity on you.

What message you would like to give to the person with disabilities?

I believe that God never does injustice with anyone. If he takes something away from you, it means he is emptying your hand to give you something better & all the person who are disabled are actually very special because they have some different kind of qualities in them which makes them different and special from rest of the world.

I want to share one thing which I have learnt from my experiences and that is believe in yourself, and never give up, have a strong will power because if you have strong will power & determination then nothing in this world could stop you from leading a successful life.
Pooja.jpg

Pooja Sharma
New Delhi

Education: MBA in HR from Jaypee Business School, Noida
MaritalStatus: Single
Disability: Spina Bifida
Profession: Commercial Back End Officer at Jaypee Group
Contact: contact@crossthehurdles.org


Quick Fire!

Favorite movie(s)

Taare Zameen Pe, Page 3, Corporate.

Favorite books

I like Chetan Bhagat's novels, and apart from this I mostly read religious books.

Favorite color

Pink and Black.

Craziest thing that you have ever done in your life.

Yet to do.

If you are marooned on an island what 5 things you would like to keep with you

My wheel chair, spectacles, mobile phone, food, & TV.

Favorite food

North Indian

Your biggest strength

I never give up and that’s my biggest strength.

The thing(s)that you hate

I hate people who have negative attitude towards life.

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

I thank God for the blessed life.

What was your resolution on New Year

I don’t believe in all such things. Don’t need New Year to bring changes to my life.

The last thing you think before falling asleep in the night

I thank God for everything he has given me.

You prefer sons or daughters

Both

Oft-repeated word/sentence by you

I’ll not quit until the battle is won. I keep repeating this sentence because it gives me courage and strength.

If world is going to be destroyed in next 5 minutes. What would you do during this time

I will completely surrender myself to God because I believe whatever he is doing is good for everyone.

The best gift that somebody can offer to you

I don’t expect gifts

The town/country that you want to visit

Europe

Your bedroom take fire what would you rescue at first

Depends. If I am alone then I’ll rescue myself because if I am alive then I can gather all the things again which I have lost in fire. But if I am with my family or my dear once then I will save them first.