At the age of five, Pratap had lost both his hands and legs in an incident due to which he had to stay confined to his home for ten years. He could not go to school, but at the age of 29, today, he is designated as Financial and Accounts Officer at Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), Ahmedabad. Before acquiring the job he completed an MBA in finance.
How did the misfortune occur?
Pratap originally belongs to Hyderabad. When he was five-year-old, his friends had staked a bet that nobody could bend an open electric rod. Since Pratap was immature at that time, he accepted the challenge. However, as soon as he touched the rod, he experienced a high voltage electric shock. Consequently, his hands and legs got severely burnt and had to be amputated.
Remained confined within home for 10 years:
After this incident, Pratap had become like a prisoner in his own home. For ten years he did not step out of the house. No wonder, he could not attend a regular school either. A time came when even his parents had started considering him a burden. If there was a visitor at home, his father did not let him meet Pratap – perhaps he was ashamed of the son.
Pratap learned to walk on his knees and write with his elbows:
Until the age of 16, Pratap could not go to school. His three sisters proved to be his pillars of strength. Pratap would read their books. After growing a bit older, he started trying to walk on his knees, but they were often bruised with the effort. He did not lose his courage and finally learned how to walk on his knees. He learned to hold and pick up things with the help of his jaws and elbows.
Of course, he faced many troubles initially, but today he is able to write and operate a computer with the help of his elbows. At the ONGC office, he is seen skillfully operating a computer. He walks without any support and even uses public transport easily. Living in a quarter provided by the company, he does all his work from preparing his meals to washing his clothes on his own.
He got customized sandals made to step out of the house:
Pratap pursued his education for classes 10th and 12th at home. He would step out of the house only to appear for exams. For this purpose, he got special sandals made by a cobbler. No cobbler was ready even to make the customized sandals but at last, one agreed.
Pratap finished his B.Com and MBA in finance from Hyderabad’s Osmania University. In fact, he even aced a scholarship from National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled Pupil.
Job eluded him:
After finishing MBA, Pratap got many interview calls for jobs, but the interview panel’s attitude towards him changed after meeting him. Nobody was ready to believe that he would be able to complete the tasks assigned to him and for this reason, many people refused to grant him a job opportunity. Pratap did not accept defeat and kept on applying to various jobs. Finally, he got the post of Assistant Manager at National Housing Bank. Later, he became Finance and Accounts Officer at ONGC, Ahmedabad.
The Don’t Give Up World team is proud of Pratap’s courage and perseverance despite all odds because of which he has been able to turn around the attitudes of people towards him. It was only because of his sheer determination that today his colleagues praise his talents and working capacity to the hilt! His father who had once given up on him once now considers Pratap in a different light. For his countrymen, Pratap sends out the message to eliminate discrimination against the differently-abled people so that they too can prove their mettle. We hope that people are listening