Women with disability in India are redefining perceptions and changing the age-old notions about them with their success stories. Pooja Sharma from Delhi is one such successful woman with disability who has managed to carve an identity for herself and has not let the society or naysayers come in the way of living her life to the fullest.

In conversation with Inclov, Pooja, who faces spina bifida, talks about the stifled Indian mentality about differently-abled women, excelling  in life despite limitations, and not letting any societal pressure intimidate her in making any life decisions.

“From being denied admission to a prestigious law college, to getting rejected for a job due to my disability, I have faced a lot of struggles at each step of my life. Yet, I don’t identify myself as differently-abled or a person with disability as I believe in living and loving life to the fullest. The society has relentlessly tried to make me feel different repeatedly, but I am determined enough to not let it do so. Despite being wheelchair-bound, I have never felt restricted nor have I compromised on anything I have ever wanted to achieve in life.”

“Due to a tumor in my spine at the time of my birth, I had to undergo a surgery when I was only 40 days old! Unfortunately, due to some complications during the surgery, my nerves underwent severe damage leading to complete disablement of my lower body. I have been wheelchair-bound ever since! However, it has neither affected me in anyway, nor has changed my view of life in any manner. I have achieved all that I intended to and am living and loving life to the fullest.

Women with disability in India: Redefining perceptions in workplace

Gregarious, enthusiastic, optimistic are some words that define me. Completing graduation from Shri Ram College of Commerce, a prominent Delhi University college, is one of the biggest achievements of my life. Thereafter, I completed MBA degree and am currently working at a major investment firm in Mumbai. Being a contender for Miss Wheelchair India, 2017, makes me proud and I am extremely thankful to the Almighty for his blessings.

Disappointment and discrimination is rather common for women with disability in India. I used to think that earning a good college degree will open up wonderful opportunities in life! But, even with excellent academic credentials, I had to endure plenty of problems in just getting a good job. Accessible infrastructure for differently-abled people in India is a major issue, as most organizations have inadequate facilities to support a physically challengA strong support system at home has helped me pursue all my dreams in life. I am indebted to my ever- supportive parents and motivating brother. They have been instrumental in helping me excel academically and professionally and have goaded me to always stay positive despite external limitations. Moreover, I have been blessed with a truly great set of friends with whom I can spend quality time!

My aim is to excel professionally and lead a fulfilling, independent life with absolutely no fear or regret of any kind. As I understand the trials and tribulations that a person with disability goes through in India, I intend to work towards changing this notion and help the differently-abled community.ed person. Even worse, the decadent mindset of employers makes it difficult to work in a barely inclusive society like India. However, thanks to my family’s support, I have managed to overcome these hurdles and move on with life in a positive manner.

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