Niranjan Nerlige V talks about how he rose like a phoenix after disability
In ‘My Take’ this week, we have 55-year-old Niranjan Nerlige V, a wheelchair user from Bengaluru. Niranjan is a motivational speaker, author and corporate trainer. He is also the founder of the company ‘Exelplus’. Niranjan talks about how he overcame an unexpected disability in life to become stronger and successful.
After completing my course at the Indian Institute of Technology in Mumbai, I was excited to fly high in life. I had just joined an MNC and they were sending me to the USA for an assignment. This was in the year 1994. I couldn’t wait to realize all my dreams. Documents for the travel were getting cleared and I was preparing for a long journey after undergoing rigorous work training.
So one day I came back from office very tired and with extremely high fever. It was a Friday and my friends had all gone out, so I had to manage on my own. Upon their return, they noticed my temperature soaring high. I walked to the balcony and slipped and fell down. Post that incident, I was paralyzed waist down and had multiple fractures.
I was admitted in the hospital in a serious condition and my life was under threat. All this time, I was unconscious and was unaware about what was happening. Even when doctors explained to me that I shall be paralyzed, I did not take it seriously because I never knew what was in store for me. Never did I realize that I shall not walk for the rest of my life!
Coping with life after a disability
I was in Mumbai for a few months. I underwent many treatments, but it did not make much difference. So I shifted to my native town in Karnataka. One of the doctors came to me and said that I must get used to riding a wheelchair. That was the biggest shock I had in my life. I gradually accepted my condition.
My entire life turned topsy-turvy. I was a self-made person from a middle-class family who was about to bloom in his career. Since my parents passed away, I only had my siblings. They had their own lives to take care of. So who will take care of me? What does the future hold for me? These questions kept repeating inside my mind. I went into depression and had thoughts of ending my life. But I couldn’t even get up to die, and that was the irony! So I decided to live. I did many surgeries and took hundreds of injections.
That was my first step towards being empowered. I decided to see what life has in store for me. After almost two years in the hospital, I rose like a phoenix bird.
Journey to success
When I look back, I’am glad of the things that I have done. I could train over 4000 people and worked with more than 80 organizations for various projects.
I could travel to over five countries in my wheelchair including the USA. Once I bounced back, I decided to work with the corporate sector itself because that is what I loved doing best and knew better.
I was invited as a facilitator to the conference in Boston in USA to inspire a group of people. I won the ‘Rotary Diversity Award- 2018’. I also designed a flagship coaching program ‘Stand Up- Rewrite your destiny and U can’ for people in the corporate sector. I authored the book ‘I choose to be unstoppable’ on how a disabled person overcame odds in life. It was the number one best seller in Amazon. I was awarded by the critic space journal literary award for my book.
“Life throws many unexpected situations. But it is in our hands on how to respond to it. You clearly do not have a control on events. Learn to challenge your limits than limiting yourself to challenges”.
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