STAR OF THE DAY
What you aspire can be achieved

Jyoti Saini – Enabling Lives

During years when there is a youthful spring in one’s stride, Jyoti Saini – crippled with polio for life – felt isolated from her age group and depressed with inferiority complex. Now at 35 years old, she is a figure of inspiration, making sure that the disabled don’t have to go through the trauma like she had to.   

She was a toddler when the lightning struck in the form of an infected injection. “I was born a healthy child in Ahmedabad and even started walking when I was one-and-a-half-year-old but I developed a fever and the doctor administered me an injection infected with polio. I was completely paralysed and was able to gain mobility only after several physiotherapy sessions and rehabilitation but my lower limbs never recovered,” narrates Jyoti.

Jyoti went through arduous times but had a strong heart inside. Parents’ support is something such children look up to and she was never short of that. She completed her masters in computer science but God seemed to have written a different script for her.

Her life took a destined turn when she landed up at an NGO working with differently abled children. “I joined the NGO to teach computer basic and professional courses to disabled children from rural villages. What struck me the most was their enthusiasm and courage to move on with life despite the difficulties they faced due to their disabilities. That’s when I realised what my calling was. I counselled disabled girls who are the worst affected,” she said. Her job involved gathering data related to employment and legislation problems faced by disabled and then fighting for their rights.

Her moment of truth arrived in 2003 when Mobility International in USA conducted a leadership programme for women with disability and she was invited to be part of it. Since then, it has been a story of success and service to the society. A Heinz fellowship for a year in Pittsburgh in 2005 for a masters programme in rehab and disability is a testimony to that. “During that course, I was introduced to assistive technology and how it can be used to increase the functional capabilities of the disabled.”

On her return to India, she joined hands with Institute of Spinal Injuries Centre (ISIC). She heads the Department of Assistive Technology there. “Initially I went into depression when I joined the centre. I realised how parents of young children having cervical paralysis also suffered with a false hope that their kids will walk out of the centre but I found strength in the famous saying – ‘I stopped complaining about not having shoes when I saw a man with no feet.’ It is now the motto of my life.”

The work Jyoti does and her attitude towards it has left me in awe of this selfless soul. She has received an invitation to address the audience at UNESCO’s Leadership Programme at the University of Connecticut in the US in August and share her experience at a global stage.

At the end, I find it hard to find words of praise parallel to the work done by this magnanimous ‘Star of the Day.’

6 Responses to “Jyoti Saini – Enabling Lives”

  1. Great blog
    really inspiring 🙂
    have a nice day

    • Thanks Sugandha! Actually, I like your blog, its different. Couldn’t stop reading your post ‘what women want.’ Looking forward to talk to you!

      • Hi,

        Just couple of days before , there was a progrme on TV on Jyoti Saini , I am really impressed with her life .. Please convey my regards to her .. you may also please give my email to her ( also post her email) .. I am sorry , i dont know who is Sugandha .. wish you , Jyoti and Sugandha very good luck ……..

        Reply……………

        Regards,
        Raju

      • Thanks Raju!

      • Hi Jyoti,

        I am sorry , i didnt figureout, JS is you.. You are most welcome and I must thank you for being a wonderful person .. please find some time for chat ot you may call me on 91 90191 78866.. I have some info and need some info from you , regarding jobs for physically challeged people.. take 10 mins off ur busy schedule and call me or give me ur no.. have a good day..

        Cheers,
        Raju

      • Hello Mr. Raju,

        Please write to me at jaspreetsinghsahni@gmail.com. I would surely love to get involved in what you are talking about.

        JS


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