Amrit Hallan is the founder of Credible Content, a content and copywriting agency. Amrit is a self-taught professional with a very long experience in his field. WeCapable Team talked to Amrit Hallan to bring you his incredible story.
WeCapable: Hello Amrit! Thank you for agreeing to this interview. Let’s begin! Do you mind sharing the name and nature of your disability? How does it affects your abilities to do things?
Amrit Hallan: Cerebral Palsy – since birth. I am completely confined to my wheelchair. All my limbs are affected. I can use just my left hand for typing, mostly with two fingers.
WeCapable: How do you see your disability? Do you think your disability has shaped your personality the way it is?
Amrit Hallan: Yes, my disability has definitely shaped my personality and my outlook. Because of my disability I am resilient. I don’t spend much time dwelling on problems and instead, I try to find solutions. I’m patient and I can easily empathize with what the other person might be going through. This enables me to write better and connect with people faster.
WeCapable: Internet based self-employment seem to be a very good option for persons with mobility issues. Being an experienced person in this regard what suggestions can you give to persons with mobility issues searching for employment opportunities?
Amrit Hallan: I would suggest that you develop or recognize a skill or an ability for which people will pay. Also, you should be able to deliver value through the Internet. It can be programming. It can be digital art. It can be communications. It can be counseling or online tutoring. Whatever you do, just remember, it must be valuable enough for people to pay for it.
It takes time. Just as you are on the Internet, so are millions of other people. They are all competing with you. Don’t expect people to give you work because you tell them that you have a disability. It doesn’t work that way. You must be able to deliver value – whatever you do.
Create a presence through which people can easily find you. This is very important. Unless people know what you can do, how can they give you work? This is the most important and perhaps the most difficult aspect of getting work from the Internet. This is not to discourage anyone, but this is the reality. Spend a lot of time networking with the others.
WeCapable: The societal construct expect men to be the primary source of income for the family. Have you ever felt that if you were a female with disability you would have to deal with lesser pressure?
Amrit Hallan: I strongly believe that whether you are male or female, you come with your own set of problems, especially when you have a disability. In the modern times, females are as likely to be the breadwinners as males.
Having said that, at least in our society, yes, the pressure of earning is greater on men compared to women. But this is just a social construct. In reality, I think it is more important for women to seek a living than for men. As soon as they can, they should start earning.
WeCapable: What, according to you, is the biggest loss you might have suffered due to your disability?
Amrit Hallan: Difficult to say. There are way too many losses I think I have suffered due to my disability. One of the biggest is my physical and intellectual independence. Physically, I’m too dependent on people around me. I would have loved roaming in the wilderness. I would have loved spending my time in the old ruins. I would have loved working with animals. By nature I am a highly social and active person but due to physical limitations, I have suffered lots of isolation.
WeCapable: We would like to know about the obstacles you faced in getting education or pursuing a career.
Amrit Hallan: I think most of my obstacles have been quite common and they are faced by every person in my situation. There were physical barriers as well as attitudinal barriers. My school was completely inaccessible. Traveling used to be an ordeal. So was the college. No office I ever went to has been accessible. Even when I started my own software business, I couldn’t follow around clients for payments and most of the clients, knowing that I couldn’t chase them around or visit their offices repeatedly, chose not to pay, forcing me to close my business. The Internet changed that.
WeCapable: Do you find it easier to connect with people with disability or do you connect with like-minded people without a disability?
Amrit Hallan: It depends. My closest friends have been people with disability as well as people without disability. Yes, sustainable friendships have lasted, or would have lasted, with my disabled friends. One of them died and the other went into permanent depression and I couldn’t do much to help him. My friends without disability, although very close during my much younger days, moved on as they went in different jobs, different countries, got married, had children, and developed new interests and new friendships.
WeCapable: Have you ever faced a situation where a random stranger came and told you that you are such an inspiration? How did you feel? Do you think you are an inspiration?
Amrit Hallan: For some years it hasn’t happened, but yes, it was a regular affair. These days I’m on a power wheelchair, so I move quite fast among people who could make such a statement, or I don’t paint the helpless picture that I used to paint when I used to walk on crutches. When I used to walk on crutches, many people used to come and say, “Wow, you are one of the bravest people I have come across.” Strangely, I never gave such statements a second thought. It is only now that I have discovered that people are annoyed. Am I an inspiration? Well, it is very difficult to inspire people, but if in some manner I can, why not?
WeCapable: Do you think your country is disabled friendly? If not, have you wished to be born in a country that was more disabled friendly? Given the chance, would you like to relocate to a more disabled friendly country?
Amrit Hallan: Yes, I definitely wish that I was born in a disabled friendly country. I could have done so much more. I would have had a much more fulfilling social life. Given a chance, would I relocate to a more disabled friendly country? Yes.
WeCapable: You come across as a happy-go-lucky person. Are there any moments when you feel distraught due to your disability? What do you do to lift yourself up in those situations?
Amrit Hallan: Some people wouldn’t believe, but it happens multiple times in a day. Disability can be quite restraining. One never gets used to with it. You will find people with disabilities smiling, laughing, or trying to be a part of the social circle they happen to be in at a certain point, at their own, personal level, they are constantly dealing with physical and attitudinal limitations. From a simple task as going to the toilet to an emotional desire to casually bend down and pick up a puppy, not being able to perform even basic functions of life is frustrating. Yes, one gets used to these frustrations and these frustrations don’t become visible on the surface, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. I wouldn’t say I feel distraught because when I’m going through certain difficulties, my main focus is dealing with them, and when I’m through those difficulties, I usually move on. But yes, I do feel frustrated and angry, multiple times in a day.
WeCapable: Marriage of persons with disabilities is a debatable topic in the Indian society. As you are already married and have a daughter, what is your opinion about marriage for persons with disabilities.
Amrit Hallan: Marriage is a responsibility. It is an undertaking. When two people get together, they decide to build a life together, and you cannot build life in isolation. It’s a partnership. It is a social construct. Even if you decide not to have a child, it isn’t fair if you’re dependent on your parents, and you want to get married and bring another person to depend on your parents. Hence, if you want to get married, put all your energies into creating a livelihood for yourself. Whether you live in another house or with your parents/siblings is another matter, but certainly have the ability to live financially and physically independent whenever you need to. Once you have crossed this hurdle, only then, only then, start thinking about getting married. Otherwise, you will simply go through unnecessary heartbreak and disappointment.
The good thing about being married is that you have your own clan. You have your own family. When all is said and done, there is someone who is going to remain inside the room when you close your doors to the world – that’s a very comforting feeling. They are always going to stay with you. They’re never going to move on (exceptions are always there).
Having said that, at this stage of my life, I wouldn’t advise you to get too much worried about being married or being single. It just happens. Focus on the basic necessities of life. Build your skills. Start making a living. Earn money. If it is in the stars, marriage will happen. If it doesn’t, just enjoy life.
WeCapable: Thank you Amrit. Now we will have a few rapid fire questions. Ready?
Amrit Hallan: Sure!
Favorite movie and book?
Movie: Tere Mere Sapne. Book: Of Human Bondage
Three recommendations for others (movie or book whichever you chose)
1. Tere Mere Sapne
2. In pursuit of happiness
3. Hidden Figures
1. Karvat by Amritlal Nagar
2. War and Peace by Tolstoy
3. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
What was the first thing you did with your first salary?
Craziest thing you have ever done in life?
Randomly write an email to a stranger (who later became my wife).
How many days can you go without any social media channel? (including messaging app like WhatAapp)
Practically, it is difficult to go without messaging apps like WhatsApp because my business depends on them. Psychologically, I don’t mind. I’m either a loner or have become a loner. For as long as possible. Just give me some books to read.
Things you have in your bucket list for life?
Get at least 10 books published. Take my wife to Paris. Have enough money to get a custom designed wheelchair with robotic legs instead of wheels.
Whom do you see as your inspiration?
Your message to the readers of WeCapable?
Enjoy what you have. Develop a habit of gratitude. Have a plan. Identify your skills, and focus on building them. Become self-centric and not people-centric. You’re not defined by your associations. You are defined by what you do. Don’t worry too much. Life is quite unpredictable. You never know what is waiting for you round the corner.
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