Lalit Kumar contracted polio at the age of four years. In Vitamin Zindagi he recalls his struggle with polio. He was born in a village on the out-skirts of India’s capital, New Delhi. He belonged to the lower-middle class in social strata and there was no significant educational background in his family. The locality where Lalit grew up was completely inaccessible and society, in general, was indifferent towards the problems of persons with disabilities. Even bigger problem was the social mindset which believes that the disabled people are not of much use.
In such an unfriendly environment, Lalit began his fight with polio. Despite all the hardship, he continued his education for he believed that education was the best weapon to battle with disability. Lalit went on to become the first graduate in his family history.
Further the book narrates how a polio stricken child transformed into a national role model and how he defined his life to be extraordinary. In essence, the book tells the story of a journey from abnormal to extraordinary.
In Vitamin Zindagi, the author says that just like our body needs various vitamins — hope, faith, courage and inspiration are the vitamins that our mind and soul need. He calls them mannvitamins (vitamins for mind). These psychological characteristics are very important for anybody to lead a meaningful life. Lalit kept his mind and soul nourished with these vitamins.
This book, Vitamin Zindagi, also discusses mindset of Indian society towards persons with disabilities. The general public treats disabled persons with indignity. Lalit also discusses other aspects of the Indian society in terms of education, accessibility, parenting and relationships etc.
All in all, Vitamin Zindagi, is a complete package in which everyone would find something relatable. This book encourages students for creativity and non-conformance to established ideas as a way to develop new and better paths. At places, the book shames the society for not playing the role it should play.
Vitamin Zindagi is one of the best books available for understanding the psyche, problems and aspirations of persons with disabilities in India.
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Hind Yugm Publication
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Patparganj, New Delhi – 110091
Phone: 098737 34046
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