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These disabled youngsters find their passion in something unique

December 9, 2018

For many people, having a disability is just the start of a new journey, a chance to explore new things. Thanks to technology, they are enabled to do. Technology has improved a lot, paving way for today's youngsters to experiment with their skills. For people with disabilities, technology and social media is undoubtedly a boon. Assistive technologies have ensured that disabled people have a better quality of life. Technology is reaching out to disabled people in getting jobs as well. But we all know some disabled people who are happy by following conventional jobs too!

Today, we take you through the journey of three people with different kinds of disabilities who are chasing their passion in doing something unique.

Pulkit the video blogger

30-year-old Pulkit Sharma from New Delhi discovered video blogging a year back. A wheelchair user, his video blog or vlog, titled 'Pulkit Sharma' is getting much attention on social media platforms. The blog is entirely on bringing out accessibility issues in and around the national capital. Sharma aims to get concerned authorities to pay attention.

It all started after his friend, a fellow vlogger, suggested the idea.

I was born and raised in New Delhi. So I know that most of the places here are inaccessible and not disabled-friendly. Recently, I went to Connaught Place where there are so many restaurants. But how many of them are accessible to a wheelchair user? Even entering public washrooms are a nightmare to us. So I capture all that I see on my camera, make a video and share it with other disabled people. Hopefully, all this helps them in some way- Pulkit Sharma, Video Blogger

Sharma recently completed his diploma and is a professional graphic designer. He aims to review and assess accessibility in other parts of India too. So if given a chance, he wouldn't mind travelling to other parts of the country for his video blog. Since he has a lot of support from his family, Sharma is all set to explore more.

Recently, a wheelchair user from Nepal reached out to Sharma for advice on accessible places in Delhi since he was in the city for a business trip.

"It made me feel happy that someone actually asked me for help after watching my blog. This is the kind of impact I hope to make among wheelchair users. People must be able to relate to what I'am saying by watching my videos", signs off Sharma.

Preetha, the creative genius

Until 2010, 38-year-old Preetha Thonnakkal from Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala was searching in the dark for what she could do to earn a livelihood. Being a wheelchair user, she had mobility challenges and did not have too many options when it came to a 9 to 5 job. That is when she realised that she had a passion for making handmade jewellery. Preetha started experimenting with her skills. In no time, she realised that this is what she wants to do in life!

"I was looking out for a job where I could stand on my own feet. Earlier, I used to collaborate with an NGO in my city that used to help me sell my products. Now, with the onset of social media, things are easier. I make jewellery as per the demand of customers. I cannot complain. I have been getting some great responses. Since I can do it from home, there are no hassles in travelling", says Preetha.

Apart from jewellery, Preetha also makes organdie flowers, soaps, detergent powders, cleaning lotions and pickles at her home. She has a lot of support from her mother, which helps. Recently, her traditional Kerala snacks sold like hot cakes at the Kerala Government Secretariat in Thiruvananthapuram. She did this to raise funds for two families that lost their livelihood in the Kerala floods.

"We raised over Rs 10,000 after selling our products. It was equally distributed among two families in Alleppy who were affected by Kerala floods. It was a great feeling", says Preetha.

Ainson the automobile guy

Ainson Antony,34, from Kochi, Kerala runs a bike service centre with his father. He was diagnosed with Down syndrome in school and gradually his parents, Mary and Anthonynoticed his passion and love for automobiles. Today, Ainson stands on his own feet, cleans all the bikes that come to the center and sometimes even helps his father in repairing them.

"Initially, Ainson was running a grocery shop. But we soon realised that people were cheating him. His heart was always for automobiles. So we thought, why not help him start something which he likes. Now he is happy and doing extremely well at the service center", says Mary Antony, Ainson's mother.

During his free time, Ainson is also an altar boy, dancer, singer, and social worker. This young man is busy and has no time to think of his disability. Ainson is truly an inspiration to people with disabilities around us!

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