Disability makes a person’s life even more difficult than it normally is. But still there are people who do not allow their disabling conditions to become a roadblock in their lives. These disabled people have self-confidence as their biggest strength and their courage gets them success and fame.
Madhuram Aparajita is presenting a few Indian people who achieved success despite their disability.
Famous Indian People with Disabilities
The following list is not given in any particular order. Also, this growing list is open to suggestions. Please bring more people with disabilities to our notice and send us their success stories so that we can include them in this list.
Nature of Disability: Dwarfism
Life and Achievements: Jyoti has a Guinness World Record for being the world’s smallest living woman. She has appeared in many TV shows.
Nature of Disability: All four limbs paralyzed due to whip-lash injury to the neck and serious damage to the spinal cord.
Life and Achievements: Ajit Jogi was born on 29 April 1946. He got selected in the Indian Administrative Services (IAS) in 1971 batch. In 1986, he joined the Congress party and became the first Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh in the year 2000. In April 2004, Jogi met with a road accident and got paralyzed. This severely hampered his political career but he still became the Member of Parliament from 2004 to 2008 from Mahasamund seat in Chhattisgarh. From 2008 until now, he serving as the MLA from Marwahi constituency.
In 2013, on his 68th birthday, Jogi received the Rex Bionic “e-legs” — a robotic apparatus which helps paralyzed people to walk.
Suresh H. Advani
Nature of Disability: Legs affected with polio, wheelchair user
Life and Achievements: Dr. Suresh H. Advani is a reputed oncologist who is credited to pioneer the hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in India. A Padma Bhushan awardee, Dr. Advani became affected with Polio at the age of eight years. He went on to study at the Grant Medical College, Mumbai where he earned the degrees of MBBS and MD.
Dr. Advani is also a recipient of Dr. B. C. Roy National Award by Medical Council of India (2005).
Nature of Disability: Quadriplegic
Life and Achievements: Preethi was the captain of the under-19 Tamil Nadu women’s cricket team. She captained her team in the national championships in 1997. At that time she was only 17 years! What’s more, Preethi was also a champion swimmer. She had won a state-level gold in 50 meters breaststroke.
However, an accident at the age of 18 left Preethi quadriplegic — totally paralyzed below neck. But the champion in Preethi remained a champion. She founded Soulfree — an organization that restores, rehabilitates, and re-integrates people suffering lethal spinal cord injuries. Soulfree also works for spreading awareness on the prevention of such injuries in Indian youth.
H. Boniface Prabhu
Nature of Disability: Quadriplegic
Life and Achievements: H. Boniface Prabhu is a Padma Shree awardee wheelchair tennis player from India. He was born on 14 May 1972 in Bangalore. At the age of four, a blotched lumbar tumor made him quadriplegic. He began his sporting career with shot put and javelin throw. Prabhu went on to win gold medal in shot put and silver medal in discus throw at the 1996 World Wheelchair Games, UK. He is the first Indian to win a medal in the International Paralympic Games.
Then he shifted his focus to wheelchair tennis and he won a medal in 1998 World Championship. He has reached a career best world ranking of 17 in singles and 19 in doubles.
Nature of Disability: Amputation in right leg.
Life and Achievements: Sudha is an Indian film and television actress and an accomplished Bharatanatyam dancer.
Sudha Chandran was born on 27 September 1965. At the age of 16 years she met a car accident in May 1981. As a consequence, her right leg had to amputated. She is started her film career with a Telugu film ‘Mayuri‘, which was based on her own life. The film was later dubbed in Tamil and Malayalam.
Later in 1986, ‘Mayuri’ was remade in Hindi with title ‘Nache Mayuri‘. The story of Nache Mayuri depicts how Mayuri, the protagonist, received a Jaipur Foot and eventually learned to dance again.
Nature of Disability: Below knee amputation in left leg.
Life and Achievements: Arunima Sinha is the first female amputee to climb Mount Everest. She was born on 20 July 1988. She was interested in sports and she became a national level volleyball player. On 12 April 2011 Arunima took a train. But she was pushed out of a general coach of the train by robbers wanting to snatch her bag and gold chain. As a result, her left leg had to be amputated below the knee.
Arunima reached the summit of Mount Everest at 10:55 am on 21 May 2013. She has been awarded with Padma Shri and Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award (2016) and the First Lady award (2018).
Nature of Disability: Blind since birth
Life and Achievements: Ravindra Jain (28 February 1944 – 9 October 2015) was a veteran Indian music composer, lyricist and singer. He gave music in hundreds of Hindi films and TV serials. His music in films like Ram Teri Ganga Maili, Chitchor, Ankhiyon Ke Jharokhon Se, Henna, Geet Gata Chal; and TV serials like Ramayana is still very popular.
Ravindra Jain received basic training under Pandit G.L. Jain, Pandit Janardhan Sharma, and Pandit Nathu Ram. He was awarded with Padma Shri and Filmfare Award for Best Music Director.
S Jaipal Reddy
Nature of Disability: Polio since the age of 18 months. He walks with forearm crutches and sometimes uses wheelchair.
Life and Achievements: S Jaipal Reddy is an Indian politician who became the India’s Union Minister. At various points of time he held the Ministries of Information and Broadcasting; Urban Development; Petroleum and Natural Gas; Earth Sciences; and Ministry of Science and Technology.
Jaipal Reddy was elected to the Lok Sabha five times in the following years:
- 08th Lok Sabha in 1984
- 12th Lok Sabha in 1998
- 13th Lok Sabha in 1999
- 14th Lok Sabha in 2004
- 15th Lok Sabha in 2009
He was also an MLA of Kalwakurthy between 1969 and 1984, a constituency in Andhra Pradesh for four terms.
Jaipal Reddy was awarded the Outstanding Parliamentarian Award in 1998. He was the first from South India and the youngest parliamentarian to achieve this award.
Nature of Disability: Spina bifida
Life and Achievements: Javed Abidi (11 June 1965 – 04 March 2018) was a noted disability activist in India. He served as the director of National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP) and set up the disability wing of the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation.
In his early days, Abidi’s family moved to the United States and he received care at the Boston Children’s Hospital and the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. At the age of fifteen, he became a wheelchair-user. Abidi, despite difficulties, studied at Wright State University, and in 1989, moved to India seeking a career in journalism.
Please let us know the stories of more people who have achieved success overcoming disabling conditions. Thank you for connecting with WeCapable!