Story of and by – Payal Shrishrimal
I live in Barmer , a small but popular tourist place in Rajasthan. I was diagnosed with Muscular dystrophy (MD), when I was seven years old. Muscular Dystrophy is a Rare Neurological Disorder .My parents were told by doctors that I might not have a long life due to the same. I continued to beat all odds and kept myself engaged in the world of creating art.
I was told that my condition has no cure. I was always good at arts and I made my own identity. I am full of positive energy and unstoppable to reach my dreams,”
There’s no cure for muscular dystrophy. But medications and therapy can help manage symptoms and slow the course of the disease. It causes extreme muscle weakness, affecting mobility, balance, walking ability sometimes ends up reaching to ventilator etc.
Apart from creating art in many forms, it is talking about art and beauty that I love. I could not complete my education due to mobility issues and shortage of any accessible schools near my home.
I was interested in arts studies my uncle and aunt who were there in Mumbai suggested me to take admission in arts colleges Mumbai but that college refused because I did my 12th from Rajasthan. They said I was not eligible because I was a student from Rajasthan.
Soon after I started teaching from home. I was interested in various forms of art and creation, be it water painting, sketches, crafts, even designing clothes, I love to learn new skills. I am also an exceptionally talented Mehndi/Tattoo artist and can draw with both hands.
Nothing is impossible! I love challenges and trying things that seem impossible. I was not able to get formal education in art or academics due to lack of inclusive facilities around me. I have practiced for years and also taught others and that has helped me improve my own skills.
I get tired easily due to my medical condition and some very challenging days now and then. But, when it comes to Art – I always seem to have energy for that.
In 2014, I participated in the Miss Wheelchair pageant and was crowned as ‘Miss Beautiful Hair’. I got several awards for my talent and was recently selected as one of the eight artists chosen from amongst hundreds for the’ Art of Inclusion’ initiative of Indian inclusion Summit. “I am interested in Bollywood and modeling and would also like to design costumes. There are many more things that want to do in life. Being a part of the Indian inclusion Summit was a golden opportunity for me and I met so many amazing people.”
I have sketched of superstar Amitabh Bachchan and it was appreciated by the senior actor himself on Twitter. I have had several exhibitions of my artwork and recognized as a professional artist. I travel for my exhibitions and the various events I invited to. I need a caretaker all the time but feel that people with disabilities should not be scared of the outside world.
My family has been very supportive , they have encouraged me to explore the abilities and talents I have. This has helped me in establishing an identity for myself.
“My message for families of people with disabilities is not to be over protective. People with disabilities can find their own individuality if they are allowed to be a part of the world. There are so many things to learn and see in life, both good and bad.”
My message to everyone – Explore your Abilities and Talents , have a passion for your interests and work towards making that as your success stories.
Keep your Goal and your Dream in Focus , and keep forging ahead with a strong believe that ……….”It’s Possible”