Find out why Sachin Tendulkar is Ashwin Karthik's biggest fan!
Ashwin Karthik has many distinctions to his credit. Ashwin, who is based in Bengaluru, is India's first quadriplegic engineer. When he decided to study engineering, there were many barriers like getting to the classroom on the third floor and completing his exam in three hours.
He managed to overcome them with strong willpower and support from his family.
"My family, which is my strongest support system, made sure they stood in between every trouble and me", says Ashwin. "For instance, as I went to a normal school, my mother would sit all day outside the school waiting for my call to attend to my needs.
He credits his success to his upbringing, which was based on three principles. "It made sure that I never feel down or discouraged", he says. "They are - I am as normal as the world around me, that nothing is impossible, and smile when in pain. "
Ashwin is a recipient of the Helen Keller award given by the National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People. His story has even inspired cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar who is his big fan.
What was it like to have met Sachin, we ask him?
"How would it feel if you meet God in flesh and blood?", says Ashwin. "To this day I feel goosebumps when I remember that meeting. It was unbelievable to hear him say that I am his hero and inspiration".
Ashwin's story tells us how disability is no barrier. All that is needed is support, encouragement and respect.