19th January 2001, I was 23 years old, traveling by an ambassador on the Mumbai-Bengaluru highway. It was around 4 am, when my car collided with a parked truck near Kolhapur. The driver survived, but I suffered from a C5 spinal cord injury during the rescue process. The injury made me a person with quadriplegia for the rest of my life.
My dreams were shattered.
Hospitals became my second home for the next two years. However, I was determined to fight it out. I was treated and rehabilitated to live life once again. From my inability to wear clothes independently, I have transitioned to leading an independent life. I don’t let my challenges to overpower me; instead, I overpower them.
Hi, my name is Nishant Khade, and this is my story.
I am the Director of DAS Offshore, a renowned construction company in India with expertise in fabrications, erections, and installations. I oversee Labour Management, Logistics, and Administration for the company.
I am also the Director of Access4All Social Foundation. Our mission is to remove barriers that restrict the mobility of people with disabilities and #MakeIndiaAccessible. I have also conducted an Audit report of entire India’s tourist places which I would like to highlight and bring into notice.
To achieve this, my Mentor and close friend Arvind Prabhoo and I traveled abroad to first study the accessibility, architecture, and infrastructure of various tourist places around the world. Later, four of us me, Arvind, Sunita Sancheti & Neenu Kewlani (all are wheelchair-bound friends) took the initiative for the journey “Beyond Barriers–Incredible India Tour“ wherein we traveled 19,200 KMs to 28 states and 44 cities for 84 days! During this extensive tour, we did an accessibility audit of the tourist places to understand their level of accessibility and the inclusive nature of the people towards differently-abled travelers. We prepared a state capital tourist place audit report based on the study we did during the trip. Currently, I am using my knowledge in construction & architectures to help the Government build a universally accepted, barrier-free infrastructure and transportation in cities.
My mantra in life is simple – Live life king size! (Part II) Don’t let the challenges or mishaps determine the path of your life.
By: Nishant Khade