Dr Ketna Mehta – The founder of Nina Foundation

| | posted on:Success Stories

Dr Ketna Mehta, a great personality, a dedicated social worker, an adventure loving person, a compassionate soul and a human being possessing indomitable courage, is the founder of Nina Foundation. She has completed her PhD on a breakthrough area in Healthcare Management. She suffered a spinal injury due to paragliding accident but hasn’t been bogged down by the challenges of life. She is the winner of many awards like

  • Best Chairperson Award for BMA Review in May 2000
  • NCPEDP Shell Helen Keller award for being a role model for other disabled
  • Best editor award for Rotary bulletin for two years 1996 and 1999
  • Certificate for running (wheeling) 2.5 km Mumbai Marathon on Jan 21, 2007
  • NASEOH Singhania award in Dec 2006 for professional excellence for a female who is disabled

You have been facing physical challenges after a spinal cord injury. How did you cope mentally during your rehabilitation program?After the injury in 1995, my sister, Dr. Nina Doshi and my Doctors worked really hard on not just my wounds but also my spirit. She always encouraged me to be self-reliant, to stretch beyond my limits, to become independent and pursue my professional and personal goals irrespective of the physical limitations. Nina always emphasized:”Take stock of the talents and skills you possess, Believe in your dreams and you will be a success”. Thus, today I am an Editor and an Associate Dean, Research with a leading management institute in Mumbai.

Nina Foundation is a big name which has been working for the welfare of the disabled since years, what made you think of setting it up?

There are over 3 lakh people with spinal cord injury in India, which makes it the second largest population with this disability in the world. Spinal cord injury is a permanent disability which transforms the person’s life, and rehabilitation is the key to facing life with dignity. Our Foundation has been encouraging the members, enabling them to excel in their respective fields I founded Nina Foundation along with my brother Dhaval Mehta in fond memory of my sister Dr. Nina Doshi, who was the inspiration for me during her rehabilitation and through the Nina Foundation; I intend to spread the same hope and inspiration to my friends with Spinal Injury.

What kind of activities takes place in Nina Foundation?

Nina Foundation’s activities include the first one-of-its-kind bi-monthly newsletter, One World-Voice of Paraplegics. The newsletter gives comprehensive information and solutions related to the distinct physical, medical, psychological, social, recreational and vocational aspects faced by spinal cord injured. We also conduct:

  • Work therapy that enables people with spinal cord injury to express their abilities, gives them financial independence and thus self confidence a sense of respect in their family and community.
  • Support Groups that facilitates sharing of experiences and have a cathartic effect.
  • Donate wheelchairs, walkers, crutches, calipers, other aids and appliances as well as medicines and expenses for regular urodynamics, sonography, X-rays and pathology tests.
  • Making India and Mumbai, barrier free & accessible for people with disability.
  • We have started the first Helpline for spinal injury in India.
  • Sponsor trophies for paraplegic sports. Participated in the Mumbai Marathon for 5 consecutive years (from 2006 to 2011) with over 50 members with spinal cord injury wheeling for Nina Foundation.
  • Participate in disability seminars and workshops. Author and present research papers / articles on the status of the disability sector in India.
  • Organize picnics, get-togethers and outbound programs for the community with family members.
  • Create powerful advertisements, calendars, presentations and films about abilities of the differently able and inclusion. Dance Therapy & Active Rehabilitation and sports.
  • Nina Foundation also conducts activities for making every person with spinal cord injury self reliant and independent through:
    • Employment initiatives including work place solutions and technology
    • Education initiatives for children with spinal cord injury
    • Efficacy survey on stem cell treatment
    • Wellness Seminars and Workshops on Spinal Cord Injury
    • Access and Sports Solutions
    • Diagnostic and medication expenses for underprivileged people with Spinal Cord Injury
    • Publication Book on ‘Spinal Cord Injury achievers from India’
    • Holistic Rehabilitation services

You have won NCPEDP Shell Helen Keller award for being a role model. How do you feel to be a role model?

It’s always good to be aspiration & have a role model to follow path & immensely gratified to be acknowledge as a educationist & persuading my dream as author/writer/researcher despite of my disability.(Spinal Cord Injury for 16 years)

Please tell us about your day to day activities..and how do you manage so many things in spite of being on a wheelchair.

I wear dual hats. One that as an editor & associate dean, Welingkar Institute of Management Development & Research, Mumbai. This involves editing a world class bi-annual research journal. Nurturing and grooming management students & faculty for research papers, publication and ensuring that the image of the institute is enhanced through cutting edge research ideas and projects. Incidentally, I was at the fulcrum of path breaking research project on TBL (Triple Bottom Line). The other hat is that as founder of an NGO Nina Foundation involved in rehabilitation of people with spinal injury. The energy and time to do this & more is attributed to the passion & purpose that I have for all that I do and of course with god’s grace & blessing I hope to carry on.

You have represented India at the Women with disability conference in 2003 in Thailand..how did it feel to be representing your country?

This has been very memorial conference overseas. Amongst various women representing different countries I was happy to share Indian status & values with them. We had tremendous bonding & as usual India was shining. The faculty & organizers were extremely co-operative & it was an unbelievable exposure. Lot of information sharing happened about disabilities rights, issues in Asia pacific region.

What message would you like to give to the people with disabilities?

I personally believe that “Every crisis is potentially a stimulus to the positive side of the personality, its an opportunity to start afresh!” An illness is not a negative crisis, but a life changing moment, a gift – another chance to rearrange our lives. Little by little we have to inch forwards towards our goal. Its always possible!

What would you like to comment on the double discrimination faced by the female disabled in India?

For the uneducated women in our country who are disabled it is a long an arduous journey. This is due to the lower status given to the girl child and women. For the educated it is deprivation of formal education, matrimony & a equal status in society. Implementation of PWD ACT (Person With Disability) is imperative for eliminating discrimination.

Dr Ketna Mehta
Mumbai

Education: PhD from SNDT University.DBM (Diploma in Business Management), MMM (Masters in Marketing Management – Bombay, University topper) CMC (Certified Management Consultant) and FIMC, (Fellow of Institute of Management Consultants).
MaritalStatus: Single
Disability: Spinal Cord Injury
Profession: Editor and Associate Dean – Research at Welingkar Institute of Management Development and Research.
Contact: contact@crossthehurdles.com


Quick Fire!
Your favorite time pass

Playing with my 10 years old nephew Dev

Your greatest strength

My family

Your greatest weakness

My emotionality

The person who motivates you the most

My brother Dhaval Mehta

Your most valuable possession

My walker

What does success mean to you

Complete inner satisfaction

What does failure mean to you

New learning

What is a perfect life in your opinion

The way life unfolds

Your biggest dream

A world class rehabilitation center for people with spinal injury in Mumbai and various other cities at affordable rates

Do you believe in God

Yes

Ref: http://www.crossthehurdles.com