Miss Wheelchair India 2014 Runner Up,Disability Rights Advocate Quora Top Writer 2017, 2016, 2015, and 2014
Q. Which part of your introduction you like the most. Being Quora’s top writer for four consecutive years, a motivational speaker, Miss India wheelchair runner up 2014, an aspiring actress/model or the lady who defeated death thrice?
A. ‘The lady who defeated death thrice’ because it’s inspirational and interesting. Everyone can achieve whatever they want in their lives , but getting a title like that is difficult and unique.
Q. So how was your reception in Gwalior?
A. It was good. I arrived yesterday here. I had some issues with my flight but overall it was nice. I also visited Gwalior Fort yesterday. Everyone has been so kind to me in Gwalior and I’ve been taken care of as it’s my home. I have nothing but good things to say about the administration, students ,organizers and about Gwalior in general. I’m incredibly appreciative.
Q. Did you get butterflies in your stomach before the talk?
A. I was nervous. Being the first speaker, I showed up on the stage directly. It happens to the best of speakers and so it happened with me.
Q. You wrote on Quora once you have a dark and dirty sense of humour. One of your fellow Quora writer approves the same .Does this quality of yours help you to get along with people easily?
A. Yes it does. Usually when talking to people, I get a vibe if they would get along with me. Precisely, whether they seem easy-going in a way in which I could turn their statements into a joke and they wouldn’t mind, or rather approve my sense of humour . If I find this to be the case, then bang on! We are best friends.
Q. Diving in the Mumbai underwater festival, you said you felt like a mermaid or fish and moved freely in water. Despite having past swimming experience, were you in any sort of dilemma whether you should go forward with this or not?
A. Not really because while diving I had to go underwater but I had an oxygen tank with me so why to be scared.I was a litte bit nervous though but I pulled it off.By the way I just found out I am going Scuba Diving this Tuesday.
Q. In the process of wining the big battle of making trains wheelchair accessible. How much satisfaction and enjoyment do you get in winning these small battles? I want to quote an example you posted from your social media account - A passenger travelling to Trivandrum from Calicut by Jansatabdi requested wheelchair via an email. In this process smaller wheelchair and portable ramps were used. It was a step towards accessibility for all without any stress, which seems to be your motive.
A. It gives me a lot of satisfaction because these small battles add up in wining a bigger battle. From booking a wheelchair via an email, porters are getting trained to handle the person who is disabled. If they are properly trained, no man handling will be done. If it is done, they will be fired. Because of this, the porters have become sensitized and they are now escorting the passengers from the train all the way to their car ensuring they are seated properly. This is a big change for humanity and in general especially for porters. I don’t mean to be discriminating but these porters come from an illiterate background .They might not understand how the world works or the hardships that someone with disability faces. They are becoming sensitized. Isn’t that a big change in the society? So if you win these small battles, eventually it all adds up in wining something big at the end of the day. You know, the best part was that they weren’t required to spend anything for this because everything was donated by rotary club, hospitals and NGO’s.
Q. How you deal with situations where someone shows extra sympathy towards you?
A. If someone does it I can tell it straightaway. This is one tatic I always follow in my life .It doesn’t mean that if I am on a wheelchair I cannot help myself. If I can push my wheelchair myself, why would I need someone’s help unless I am facing some difficulty. If I need someone’s help then I will the first one to ask for help.
Q. Your mother has a strong character .You narrated the incident today that she made you to crawl and struggle for cookies. What was going through her mind? In one of your posts you wrote she never cried in front of you?
A. Yes she has a pretty strong character. She was crying behind me watching me struggle. But she didn’t express it me. She questioned herself what she was doing and why was she putting me through this. When I asked her later, she told me - She had two minds about it. One was why she was doing this. Second, she had to do this otherwise I would have never learnt to become independent. I thank her for that everyday. .At that stage I was not able to sit without support but now I much in a much better condition. Whenever I go through a hardship I remember that incident - if I was able to do that in that situation then I can do anything. If I cannot deal with a boy problem or manage my expenses so why am I cribbing. If I can overcome that stage to what I am doing right now then I can do anything.
Lets play a rapid fire:
Q. Your inspiration.
Q. Your favorite movie.
A. Haathi Mere Saathi.
Q. One thing you can’t live without.
A My mother.
Q. You are jealous of?
A. Bipasha Basu’s body and the hardwork she puts in everything she does.
Q. One actor whom you want to work with?
A. It will be Irfan Khan.
Q. If you were to be supergirl for one day first thing you would do?
A. Implement total accessibility for wheelchairs all over the world.
Q. One food item you can’t afford to miss anytime.
A.I have a sweet tooth but it’s surely not cookies. I would say pizza or may be noodles.
Q. Your favorite subject in high school?
A. It has to be science.
Q. Biggest rumour you have heard about yourself on social media platforms.
A. That I am related to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Q. Your favorite TEDx talk of all times.
A. there was a talk in TEDX Oslo about ‘Virginity Fraud’ delivered by medical students Nina Dølvik Brochmann & Ellen Støkken Dahl.
Q. Who was your favorite co-speaker in the event today?
A. I definitely think it was Roshni Misbah and Saurabh Kaushik.
Q. You wrote before you became wheelchair bound, it was your dream to become a doctor; specifically, a heart surgeon. What would you be if you were a doctor but not a heart surgeon?
A. May be a neurologist.
Interviewed and edited by-