See the Ability in Disability

BalaMurugan is the third child of Mr and Mrs. SendamaraiKannan. The elder 2 were Girls Thenmozhi and Baby Swaroopa, and the parents had been praying and wishing for a Boy Baby. On April 13 1986, when the baby was born, the parents were overjoyed and he was named BalaMurugan.

BalaMurugan who is 34 years old now, shares a story of his life and Obstacles which he had came across and how he wishes to take forward and what he wants to achieve.

“  I was 6 months old when my parents took me for getting my vaccination. I began to develop fever and my parents rushed out in search of a Doctor. They managed to locate local general specialist and he immediately attended, gave an injection and medication.

The next day the parents found that I was paralyzed under my Hip. When they approached the doctor back again, they were shocked to notice that the Doctor was a bit unstable in his mind.  Since we were new to Madras, and to the area where we were residing, my parents  could not locate the right doctor in time.

After sometime,  it was diagnosed as Poliomyelitis and my parents started taking me to different Hospitals looking for treatments. I used to crawl and roam around the house till the age of 2. I used to roam around the house and that was the only place I had known.   I did not know then what my condition was and could not understand how the other children used to walk, play, run, and ride bicycles.  While growing up, I was just wondering why am I not able to do the things what the other kids were doing.

After many visits to different hospitals I was finally operated at M.G.Ramachandran hospital in Chennai. The operation was for about 8 Hrs – on my right leg at my Hip, Knee Joint and Toe. I was in Bed for more than 10 months and I still remember the bed sores.  I used to be on bed for most of my time, for nearly 22 hours out of 24 Hours a day. This operation made me to walk with my hand pushed against my right leg. Calipers were another thing they suggested to make me walk like others but I resisted. I felt walking without calipers as a comfortable one. Till now I don’t like to use any calipers.

Coming back to home, I still remember a name Mrs.Syble David, an Anglo-Indian who just came forward and started teaching me basic education which I had missed, because of not going to school. She was working as a Teacher and so recommended me to join the Standard I directly and she was the first light in my darkness. I am so happy to say that she is my 2nd Mother where she taught me like a son.

My Parents started to have a hope that I will be able to manage my disability and cope up with my life. My friendly sisters took care of me, and kept motivating me whenever I felt disappointed. School and College days got over, and I did my B.A in History. I had a keen interest in Sales Profession and so chose one.

Avoidance, de-motivation, no confidence in my ability – is what I faced and still continue to face whenever I gone for an Interview in Sales Profession.  I was being avoided in the beginning, and at times after the interviews I would never hear from them again. My disability was noticed first, before I could even speak. It was after many attempts I joined a Small company and started my Sales career. I was and still am confident that I will achieve something big in Sales Profession.

 I have 13 years of Experience in Selling of Various Products and was quite happy with my progress and self appraisal. Unfortunately, due to this COVID outbreak I just lost my current job as Sales Manager and am back again hearing the same question, can you Do it?

A personal situation in 2015 had set me back to the starting point again. A set of friends cheated me financially, because of which me and my wife were almost on the road. This period exposed the true faces of friends and relatives. One of my friends let me and my family to stay with him and he encouraged me and this  gave me more confidence to start on the unseen part of my life once again.

Now, the current situation has again pushed me back to the starting point. But, I am confident I will be able to reclaim the lost territory.  I see my disability as my Identity, as nobody can forget me and my appearance. This confidence has made me stronger day by day.

Whenever I feel tensed, alone, angry, or sad, I used to take a long ride or drive. This helps me relieve the stress which comes out of the situation and have a deeper thought on what to do next. Being a Physically Challenged person,  I used to drive adaptive vehicle for PwD.  I realized no Bike Manufacturers like, TVS, Honda, Yamaha, etc., manufacture adaptive vehicles. Instead we have to buy a normal vehicle and approach a local Technician to make them do the wheel balancing to the vehicle. They excluded the adaptive wheel technique when it comes to India.

Since there is not much awareness about how persons with disabilities can be included in regular streams, there are no proper and  required arrangements for Persons with Disabilities  in Banks, Railway Stations, Trains, Bus, Hotels, Office, etc …….. We are always excluded from everything and at all places

I continue to do my little part on spreading awareness.

At the moment I am  planning to make a road trip from Chennai to Kanyakumari  on my Two wheeler with a ” We Can Do ” slogan . If someone else is interested, I would be happy to form a group to undertake this trip to spread the message of Inclusion. 

Hope with all your support and guidance, I am sure I can make this happen

I believe I am born every day and I die the same day.  I believe everyday is another opportunity for me to see the ability in disability.

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