Akshansh Gupta, a 32-year-old man, has recently received a doctorate at one of the best Indian universities – Jawaharlal Nehru University. “Gupta’s lower limbs are non-functional while his speech is difficult to be understood. He grew up with cerebral palsy. He is deemed 95% disabled,” thelogicalindian.com wrote about his health limitations.
However, his body has never been the reason to give up on education.
Gupta Presents His Thesis Abroad
He has chosen computer science as his study field because this program requires practical and laboratory work. Recently, he has finished his thesis about “Brain-Computer Interface” and even traveled to Malaysia to present his work. Despite his disability, he travels and bravely presents his work, which for other people could be an obstacle.
Struggle From Primary School to the University
“In general, in our country, the attitude towards people with disabilities is quite negative. The first thing people ask is, ‘Kya Karega padhke (What will you gain by studying)?‘”, Gupta says. This was a comment that describes not only the struggle he faced at the university but also during the very early phases of his educational life.
His fight with the system had already started when he got admission to a Primary school in his hometown of Jaunpur in east Uttar Pradesh.
During his youth days, two women in his life encouraged him and motivated him to jump beyond his horizons. His mother – who unfortunately died in 2011, was one of them. She constantly insisted on giving Gupta the education he deserved, just as his sibling had been receiving it. The second woman that changed his destiny was Meera Sahu, a teacher who got him to join the primary school.
Family, Friends, and the Rickshaw Puller Support Him Till the End
“Gupta is also eternally grateful to Mahajan, the rickshaw puller who ferried him every day to Umanath Singh Institute of Engineering and Technology in Jaunpur, where he pursued a BTech degree in computer science,” the timesofindia.com wrote. His home is around 15 km away from his college, and thanks to all the supporters in the family, friends, and Mahajan, he could, at the end of his studies, receive the title of being a ‘Ph.D.’
“Mahajan and I talked about the world beyond Jaunpur, and that is when I decided I want to step out. My family was reluctant, but they eventually agreed, and here I am in Delhi,” Gupta claims. As his hostel mate at JNU, Piyush Maurya describes, the newly titled doctor of computer science mostly refuses help offered by others so that he can be independent. “He always wanted to prove that his disability was a myth,” Maurya adds.
Will the University Continue to be His Home Even in the Future?
The professional career waiting for Gupta might be another hard step in his life. However, he hopes to be accepted at the same university where he had studied till now. Commenting on the Government’s policy for people with disabilities, he contends that it is useless until the Indian politicians start to discuss the changes amongst real people with any form of handicap. “Because we are not vote-banks,” he says.
Gupta is an excellent example of how sheer force and ambition can lead to success. He is an inspiration for other people with disabilities and all of us, who starve for success and feel frustrated in this unfair world.
Originally posted 2015-12-16 12:31:00.