Inclusion: Close yet distant | Sai Prasad V | TEDxMeridian School Madhapur

Inclusion: Close yet distant | Sai Prasad V | TEDxMeridian School Madhapur

Personal Struggles and Triumphs

  • Prasad shares his story of overcoming challenges and prevailing over shame despite being born with a spinal cord growth that prevented him from walking.
  • Despite societal discrimination and difficulties in finding a school, Prasad found joy in friendship and developed a passion for cricket.
  • Prasad struggled to meet his parents' high expectations academically, but after failing to secure a top rank in class 10, he received encouragement from his teacher and achieved a state first rank in the engineering entrance exam.

Challenges in College Admissions

  • Prasad faced obstacles when applying for college due to reservation policies and limited options for students with disabilities.
  • An encounter with a nosy neighbor who spread rumors about him led Prasad to feel overwhelmed and ashamed.
  • Prasad realized that society often engages in "ragging," or teasing and harassment, and that prevailing over it completely is not always possible.
  • Prasad ultimately decided to attend CBIT, a college where he noticed a girl crying over not getting a seat, which led him to believe it must be a good college.

Pursuing Higher Education in America

  • Despite feeling depressed, Prasad found support from family and friends and graduated at the top of their class.
  • They decided to pursue further studies in America and eventually convinced their parents to allow them to go to the US.

Raising Awareness for Disability Rights

  • Inspired by the concept of karma, Prasad took on daring challenges to raise awareness for the cause of disabled people in India.
  • They went skydiving, forgetting to wish their mother a happy birthday, but the video of their jump went viral and caught the attention of Aamir Khan.
  • Prasad attempted to live in the Grand Canyon for a week but faced difficulties and moved on to scuba diving.
  • They conceived the idea of diving at the intersection of the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans and contacted Sir Robert Swan, the first person to walk to the North and South Poles.
  • Inspired by Swan's story, Prasad decided to accompany him on his next journey to Antarctica.
  • Despite challenges, they successfully completed the training and reached the Antarctic continent, becoming the first Indian with a disability to eat Indian rice and curry there.

Reflections and Insights

  • Prasad reflects on the societal tendency to discourage dreams and self-belief.
  • They emphasize the value of action over empty talk and the importance of endurance in solving life's toughest problems.
  • Prasad acknowledges that disability is not just a state of mind but can cause physical pain and that constantly searching for answers to unanswerable questions is a form of self-deception.

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