“I HAD LOST MY EYESIGHT, BUT I HAD NOT LOST MY DIGNITY”
Divyanshu took a two-minute flight in the skies as a solo paraglider, becoming the first visually challenged person in India to do so, according to his trainers. “I always wanted to fly and I was 700 feet high in the air. It was exhilarating. I was enjoying complete freedom. It was a beautiful experience which I cannot describe in words. At the most I can say, I was experiencing oneness with nature and its elements”.
It was not an easy journey though. Divyanshu Ganatra lost his eyesight to glaucoma when he was 19, he has also fought off tuberculosis in his journey to success.
Divyanshu learnt to navigate the world, and while at it, grew proficient in the use of computers and software. He quit an institute he had set up to teach the visually impaired computer skills to pursue human psychology because “computers seemed outdated; the brain is the most complex machinery”.
His effort won him The National Award for the Welfare of Persons with Disabilities and was chosen for the ‘Ten Outstanding Young Indians Award’ by a youth organisation.
In Divyanshu’s words, “We can focus either on problems or solutions. It is up to our perspective towards looking at things. With this frame of mind, a disabled person can overcome any challenge in life”.
Talking about his plans to take this experience forward, he says, “In our country, enjoying adventure sports is still a distant dream for the disabled given the lack of infrastructure. These kind of sporting activities are great energisers and equalisers and I want to promote these among persons with different disabilities”.