Wheelchair user Srilatha stays positive by believing in the power of her dreams
Srilatha KS is a wheelchair user from Bengaluru. She works as the Project Management Officer with a leading corporate company in the city. Srilatha proves that a disability is never a barrier to becoming independent and self-reliant.
Impossible is not a word in Srilatha KS’s dictionary. That spirit has pushed her to seek success and independence in life without letting disability overwhelm her. A wheelchair user based in Bengaluru, Srilatha was affected by polio when she was about three years old. Today as a Project Management Officer with a leading corporate in Bengaluru, she proves disability need not be a roadblock to achieving one’s dreams.
Born in a small town in Karnataka, Srilatha did not have access to an inclusive school. She completed her studies in a non-recognised school and later did a bachelor’s degree in business administration. Srilatha had dreams of becoming a fashion designer and did a course but fate had other plans for her.
I tried for over a year to make my mark in the industry. People loved my designs too. But I realised that this field is not for a person with disability. One has to move around and accessibility is a problem. I realised that I had to get a job and become financially independent. I decided to leave fashion designing and opt for a job that paid me well. It was a tough decision. – Srilatha KS
Disabled and independent
Srilatha’s first job was at a BPO. Here too, accessibility was a barrier and Srilatha had to resign due to the long hours and lack of disabled-friendly public transport. “I wanted a job that offered transport facilities. My mother would have to pick me up and drop me off to the bus stop. I was not happy with that”. Srilatha now works at an organisation that offers her transport. “I feel more independent and self-reliant”.
Srilatha’s pillar of strength is her mother who ensured she did things on her own. “She insisted I acquire the skills needed to become independent. She used to train me to go to the shops alone. Because of that, I can live on my own. I can cook and wash my clothes”.
Srilatha’s other hobbies
An ardent dance lover, Srilatha recently joined The Invincibles, a dance group started by people with and without disabilities. They organise workshops and perform at various venues. “We practice on weekends. All the members are ardent dance lovers. I love Bollywood songs”, says Srilatha. “There are many people who are disheartened because of their disability but it is important to remember that you are the only person who can bring a positive change to your life. There will be ups and downs in life. But work on your dreams”, she adds.
Dhanya Ravi, who is a part of the dance group, admires this sense of independence. “When women without disabilities in our country find it hard to live, Srilatha travels alone in the city to her workplace and other community-based programmes. I find that quite incredible”.
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