Life is always changing. It is very easy to allow it to deteriorate but it is very difficult to fight through the odds and live. What is important is to move ahead and start a new chapter instead of re-reading the old one over and over again. It takes a lot of courage and determination but consistent efforts and never-ending commitment can move even mountains.
If you don’t believe in this, read the journey of Pooja Sharma who believes that sometimes we just need to push through the bad phase and reach a happy place. From being denied admission in a renowned law college to not getting any job, this former Miss Wheelchair India has accepted everything that came her way and rose above all of it.
Facing harsh realities of the society
As only a 40-day-old child, Pooja lost her legs to extensive nerve damage. Her parents consulted various doctors for her treatment but nothing was of any help. The damage was severe and incurable. Growing up without legs, Pooja was motivated and strong but only till she was challenged by the outside world and faced the harsh realities.
Following her dreams of studying law, she got herself enrolled in Symbiosis, Pune. To suit her needs, the college provided her with a ramp. However, it was too steep and despite requesting the authorities for help numerous times, her plea was unheard. They asked her to adjust to what was given and they didn’t cater to her needs.
“A few months later, they asked me to find admission elsewhere because they couldn’t help me anymore. I was shattered but I didn’t let this break me. I ended up going to a better college and completing my degree,” says Pooja to Humans Of Bombay.
Beating the hurdles, one at a time
She ended up changing her college and completed her degree in law successfully. Despite all the hurdles, her motivation was driving her to go further. But in a world where competition and ethics beat out students, her struggle to find a job continued.
During interviews, they were only interested in my disabilities rather than my abilities. It was discouraging but eventually, I found a good job,” she said. As Pooja was climbing the ladder of success in her life, several incidents shattered her will. Sometimes they’d make her feel unworthy and conscious. It would break her confidence.
“I’ll never forget the night when my friend who was supposed to drive me back home, told me to get out from the car, stranded me in the middle of nowhere in Delhi and fled. I was terrified. I called several Ubers, but every time they saw me in a wheelchair, they refused to drive me. It’s the first time I cried. But this was also the moment I decided that I’m never depending on anyone else for anything. I quickly learned how to drive, customized my car and haven’t looked back ever since,” she recalls.
‘Standing’ on her feet
Pooja’s impairment did not change her life but her never-give-up attitude did. She wanted to stand on her feet and didn’t think of herself as someone who will never rise up just because she’s different from others.
“There have been lots of challenges in my life, but I never let them define me. Most people see my wheelchair first but spend a few minutes with me, you’ll be charmed. I’m done standing up now– I’m flying!”
She won the title of Miss Wheelchair India in 2017 and since then, she has never looked back. Pooja has achieved one thing that many of us fail to do, she empowered herself and became independent. She is a hero for all the people who succumb to their weaknesses rather than embracing them and turning it into their strength.
Life throws curve-balls at all of us, sometimes they shatter our soul, but what matters is how you stand up and what you do about it. KenFolios wishes Pooja all the happiness in her life.
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