Dancer, fitness enthusiast & disability rights activist, Pratap Ram juggles role with ease
30 year old Pratap Ram from Bengaluru works with a leading corporate company in the city. This youngster is a passionate dancer and fitness enthusiast. He has been working closely with the disabled community as well.
For 30 year old Pratap Ram, a disability is never a barrier to chase his dreams. Pratap, who lives in Bengaluru, was diagnosed with cerebral palsy when he was hardly four years old. Today, he works for a leading corporate company and is part of empowering people from the disabled community. But his favorite roles are that of a dancer and fitness enthusiast. Pratap’s moonwalk dance inspired by Michael Jackson is a hit amongst his friends.
Living life to the fullest
Pratap’s life changed after a fever at the age of four. His body temperature shot up which affected the nerves. He was diagnosed with cerebral palsy after that. He studied in a regular school till class 12 and later completed a post-graduation in Commerce. “I had a lot of support from my family. I still have it. I wouldn’t have made it till here without them”, he says.
Pratap started off working five years back. He worked with a bank before joining his current company where he now works as a senior business analyst.
When I started working back then, there was no inclusion a work places. People were unaware about how to interact with disabled people. There was no sensitization. But things have changed now for the better. Over the last two years, I have noticed many awareness classes and workshops happening in our cities – Pratap Ram.
Empowering the disabled community
Over the past many years, Pratap has been working closely with the disabled community. He started off by being part of Enable India and Spastics Society of Karnataka. Pratap started taking awareness workshops and classes in colleges across Bengaluru.
“I believe that it is the responsibility of every disabled person to be their own advocate. You should be able to talk to people and make them understand about what your disability. Only then will the other person understand”, says Pratap.
A passionate dancer
Pratap recollects his tryst with dance which started off during his college days. Till then, he never knew his talent which was claims was hidden. One day, his friends were practicing for a show when they asked Pratap to join in and shake a foot. Initially, he was hesitant, but realized that he loved to dance.
“I started getting a good feeling about dance. So now, I do shows. I have not received any formal training till date”, says Pratap.
Talking about his ‘moonwalk’, Pratap says, “Me and my friend Venkatesh tried doing it because we are die-hard fans of Michael Jackson. It came out well”, he says. Venkatesh, who is a close friend, considers Pratap a true inspiration. “His disability has never come in the way of following his dreams. Pratap is all about positivity and happiness. We have known each other for the last ten years. I realised that there are a lot of things to learn from him”, he says.
Pratap loves fitness and gym training. This youngster ensures to hit the gym every day. He plans to open inclusive fitness centers in Bengaluru to begin with. He hopes he can spread his venture to other parts of India as well.
“People think that a disabled person cannot be part of gyms. I have heard a lot of people asking me to start walking or do some exercises at home. I still haven’t understood why people say that. If you really want to achieve something, you must do that at any cost. Look at your abilities instead of the disability. If you think you are a disabled person, then you are restricting yourself. Life is all about enjoying it the fullest”, says Pratap.