Sai Padma in her own words
One wonders what to write when asked to write about one self. (At least I believe so!) I thought my life is so simple, so normal and so naïve like any other girl. Until I came to know suddenly that I am physically challenged.
I am first-born child of my parents, both doctors; born very healthy, like any child they had innumerable expectations before my birth. Was a very healthy child until I was viciously and completely affected by polio at the age of one and half months! my parents were devastated (normally doctors as a parent can never digest something so problematic can happen to their own child, they kept the vaccine preserved for the use at the age of 3 months) the attack was so fatal and final that there were days when my mom prayed to god to take me away instead of suffering like this, if god has listened to her, I would not be typing this of course! According to WHO guidelines, the minimum age at which the polio vaccine is administered is after 3 months of birth. Later it revised it’s decision and given the guidelines that the attack on me was full including my voice, several shock treatments (the only treatments available then to move limbs and make them vital and alive again) my voice and upper limbs had become active and normal, but like many things in life which lost value and sheen with time, maybe the magic wand of shock treatment lost its magic when it came to both my legs, so it couldn’t revive them to normalcy. But, that magic worked on my voice. I still cannot believe that I did a diploma course in Classical Music and people around me say I sing very well.
I finished my graduation in commerce along with diploma in computers and carnatic classical music (weird combination?) I joined CA, there was skepticism itself on taking me in that tough course, being first objection as woman and, second as physically challenged.
After I finished my CA inter, I got operated for a condition called gross scoliosis (twist of the spinal cord, crushing lung space, which can be life threatening) so a surgery was necessary again, they did it in 1996, major spinal cord surgery for a total of 18 hours. I recovered well, by just sheer grit that I might have a purpose in living after all the physical pain and trauma of physical and emotional imbalance. While thinking all these I finished post graduation in commerce and a degree in law.
Presently I am doing my MBA (finance) and I wish to study the finance factors in various disability issues and make woman more economically independent, the first step towards relative freedom. Wish to study the efficiency of various programs and their help really coming out of such programs with regard to Indian disabled.
Today I walk, do all my works. I have great respect for my physical condition which made me realize life in real terms. A peaceful and happy person I am. The problems of humanity really move me. The love I feel for nature and humanity and some special people makes my heart mellow and relaxing.
I started working for the trust established my father, I felt that I have found my self in helping others in the small way I could. Presently I am working as a chief executive/trustee for the trust, handling finance, legal and communication matters, which involves primary education, healthcare; healthcare to physically challenge and elimination of child labor. Catering to the challenged whether they are socially, mentally and physically challenged has become my dream. I have put maiden steps towards it, as I felt the need that they need to understand and enjoy life as it comes.
- Graduate in Commerce- B.com from Andhra University, India.
- Post graduate in commerce- M.com from Andhra University, India.
- Graduate in Law – B.L (Bachelor of Laws) from Andhra University, India.
- MBA (finance) from Andhra University.
- Chartered Accountancy (final) equivalent to CPA (certified public accountant).
- Post Graduate Diploma in Computer Applications.
- Diploma holder in Indian Classical music
- Melvin Jones Fellow by Lions Clubs International
- Paul Harris Fellow by Rotary International.
- Special recognition award from “Jayanthi Foundation, USA” for Services in empowering disabled in State of Andhra Pradesh, India.
My Website: http://www.globalaid.in
1. Favorite movie(s)
I am a movie freak, many favorites- Hindi- khub surat, black, tare jameen par, anaamika (old), 3idiots, Aandhi, Any movie with positive theme English- A beautiful mind, Sound of Music, A roman Holiday, Titanic, Shlinders List, Forest Gump, list is endless here too!
Toughest question for me on earth, I would rather say my favorite writers/authors- Ayn rand,Ken Follet, Paulo Coelho, OSHO, Jhumpa Lahiri, Stephen Hawking, Khaled Hosseini, John Grisham.
3. Favorite color
White, baby pink, black.
4. Craziest thing that you have ever done in your life
Every important decision in my life looked really crazyyy at that time. Later it proved, when I accepted the reality and mistakes, people started seeing that I work hard!
5.Most Valuable thing that you have purchased till now
My cell phone Nokia N95- I am greedy still as I am a technology addict. Still looking for some more goodys like apple iPhone etc..
6. If you are marooned on an island what 5 things you would like to keep with you
My wheelchair, Leg braces, endless supply of books & food, writing paraphernalia, Oh forgot my spectacles!
7. Favorite food
Not a foodie.. enjoy both south and north Indian dishes. Any thing Spicy/masala chalega!
8. Your biggest strength
My Courage. My husband Anand, My parents, My aunty and uncle (not necessarily in the same order!)
9. If you take birth again, who would you like to be born as?Sai Padma Only, but With more wisdom to start the same work, earlier and for disabled in focus. I am a happy person. Every adversity is an opportunity.
10. The thing(s) that you hate
Hypocrisy, Double standards, Autocracy, Making human relations a business.
11. The first thing you do right after awaking up in the morning
I will sit and meditate. It can be 5 minutes or 50 minutes depending on my physical condition. Then try to shift into wheelchair with stiff hands and legs…hahhaha
12. The last thing you before falling asleep in the night
Talk to my husband about the day. Read for 10 minutes.
13. You prefer sons or daughters?
Daughters of course; I feel I can raise them better than boys
14. Oft-repeated word/sentence by you
There is ABILITY in the word DISABILITY itself- focus on that.
15. If world is going to be destroyed in next 5 minutes. What would you do during this time?
I would call my parents and aunt and uncle and my mother-in-law, friends and would tell them “You have not only taught me the value of life but enabled me to enjoy it fully- I love you so much!” And simply hold the hand of my husband and enjoy the death coming near us!
16. What was your resolution on the new year?
Not to react to set-backs. There is so much to do. Focus more on disability centric programs and projects.
17. The best gift that somebody can offer to you?
Nokia 9900 touch or Coolest Laptop. ( I am shameless and got to be modest also when someone gifts!)
18. Your bedroom take fire what would you rescue at first?
My Wheel Chair/braces
19. The town/country that you want to visit?
An accessible trip to all wonders of the world
20. If you can meet one person of your choice, dead or alive, known or not, who would this be?
Mother Theresa, Jiddu Krishnamurthy, OSHO, Hellen Keller, Ernest Hemingway,
21. If you could change one thing your past, what would it be?
I would change the delay in my perceptions on GROWTH AND ACCEPTANCE OF DISABILITY PHYSICALLY, EMOTIONALLY, PSYCHOLOGICALLY! If such delay is changed, I can help many like me in this journey!