” I met with a serious car accident on my way from Hoshiarpur to Chandigarh (Punjab), when traveling with my family. I was 13 at that time. With various different injuries, my spinal cord broke and made me disabled from the chest down,” recalls Pratishtha Deveshwar, a final-year pupil of Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi University, in a matter-of-fact manner.
Recalling the event that shifted her life is of course not simple for her, yet her voice twinkles with positivity as she says in the same tone: “People with any disabilities can accomplish anything!”
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All my friends and relatives told me not to go out because I won’t be able to do things on my own. But I decided to pave my destiny .- Pratishtha Deveshwar, LSR student.
On the way to create her belief and message true, Pratishtha Deveshwar had been a top ranker in academics and persuaded her family that she could dwell all by herself in Delhi, after being home practiced. I constantly knew that I could survive my situation only with education. So, after 12th, I said to my parents that I don’t want to live within the four walls of my home anymore. I can have far better opportunities. I referred to LSR, and got admission! That improved my life, says Deveshwar who was soon sighted on a wheelchair on Delhi roads, with shopping bags dangling on either hand.
Everyone instructed my family to not to send me to Delhi because I’m specially-abled, and was conditional on them. So (they thought) it would be difficult for me to live independently. But, the word impossible was never in my glossary! I began living by myself — did grocery shopping, paid bills, and even traveled, by myself, nearly the whole of the city in the metros. And don’t be astonished if you see me hurrying around the roads of Delhi again, in my wheelchair, after the pandemic ends.”
This young girl has one more dream to fulfill, and that is to seek higher studies at Oxford University, UK.
“I registered to Oxford because their class on public policy is considered one of the best in the world, and I got through. In fact, I’ll be the first Indian who is dependent on a wheelchair, to study at Oxford. I wish to study there, come back to my country and use my proficiency for the advancement of 26.8 million people with disabilities in India, who currently need to be empowered. Also, because I expected to verify that my accident or wheelchair does not interpret me, and I’m not what occurred to me but I am what I select to be. I wanted to exhibit it to the world that a girl in a wheelchair can accomplish anything she wishes of, in spite of all the obstacles.”
Studying at Oxford, still, is a costly subject, and Pratishtha Deveshwar has been raising money on a crowdfunding platform to make her dream came true. Due to a lack of scholarship opportunities, I concluded to start a crowdfunding movement because I simply believe that there is totally no reluctance in asking for help if the reason is genuine. And there are so many wonderful people out there who are willing and able to support. She added that her stories will definitely inspire others and this will bring positivity in her life.
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With unfathomable love for language and a perpetual desire to explore new vocab I find my solace in reading and trying my hand at writing.