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The Cripple who is Whole - My Take

My life was perfect. I was 18 years old, a state-level swimmer, and the captain of the Tamil Nadu under-19 girls cricket team. I excelled at everything I did. It seemed that nothing could come in the way of my success.

I was on a college trip to Pondicherry with my friends when a freak accident on the beach turned my world upside down.

I broke my neck and was left paralysed below the neck. Life as I knew it was over.

People who had always viewed me with respect and admiration began to look at me with pity. I was the same person but my life seemed to have no value anymore.

I was an outstanding student but I was denied admission into correspondence courses, and told that there are no lifts, no ramps, don't join.

I was broken in body and spirit.

It was the love for my parents, and a spiritual awakening, that allowed me to see that I was not limited by the body.

I founded Soulfree, a public charitable trust that is working to improve the quality of life for persons with spinal cord injury in India, especially women.

We are fighting great challenges because if a woman in my condition cannot be cared for by her family, she has nowhere to go. This is because there is not even one long-term rehabilitation centre or Independent living facility in India.

Soulfree is working towards setting up such a centre. I request all of you to learn more about spinal cord injury and support our effort.

About the Writer

Preethi Srinivasan is the founder of Soulfree, a public charitable trust that is working towards the rehabilitation of people with spinal cord injuries, especially women. They are doing this through better opportunities in medical rehabilitation, education, employment and entrepreneurship.

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