Disability is not a hindrance but a unique attribute that can be seen as a powerful asset when given the right opportunities. Though disability makes a person’s life different from a normal one but they change disability into this-ability which transforms their life into a courageous and determined one.
We all would have heard and been surprised about Stephen Hawking, his biography and his achievements. He continues to be one of the prodigious minds of the 21st century. All his works starting from defining the origins and structure of the universe, from the big bang to the black hole changed the way we understand the universe today. He was regarded as a brilliant theoretical physicist, cosmologist and british science communicator. Although leaving an indelible mark in the history of science with his works, his personal life also turned to be an embodiment of hardwork and success. On his 21st birthday, he was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) which is characterized by muscle stiffness, weakness and difficulty in writing, chewing or swallowing. One of his marked contributions to science includes explaining the Theory of everything. He was the first scientist to elucidate a formulation to unify Einstein’s theory of general relativity with the laws of quantum and classical mechanics. The next arguable contribution of his was the Hawking radiation about black holes. This became the biggest breakthrough of the 20th century and he also formulated the temperature of black holes. From proposing the thesis of “Properties of expanding universe” in his teenage till recreating the zero gravity experience when he was 65, he always stood out for his brilliance and left an incredible legacy with his incapacitating illness.
Stephen Hawking in zero gravity
In the same way, lots of personalities have won their disability. Helen Keller, a prolific author and writer was born blind and deaf. Albert Einstein born with autism and dyslexia was a great theoretical physicist and also won a Nobel prize. Barath Kumar born without a left hand has participated in national level competitions and won more than 40 national level medals in para- swimming. Ira Singhal an IAS officer, Arunima Sinha who made the nation proud by hoisting the Indian flag on Mount Everest with an amputee. Many celebrities like Sudha Chandran – a classical dancer and Abhishek Bachchan have achieved in their respective fields despite their disabilities. Mariyappan Thangavelu was the first Indian paralympic gold medalist since 2004. The department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, under the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, has also announced many welfare schemes and employment opportunities for disabled people.
These people proved that disability is a matter of perception and not an obstacle to success. Disability changed their normal life and they changed their status from normal person to well-known personalities with determination.