Life of Pooja is an inspiration not only for women, but also for every person who turns away from life due to some shortcomings. Meet Pooja, A Bravery awardee who can’t walk and is on a wheelchair, which didn’t stop her from pursuing MBA and when she was rejected at her Job, she decided to form her own company and now gives martial arts and communication training to people.

“Dear Sky, you too try to test your heights

We fly with courage, not with our legs.”

The lines fit the 42-year-old entrepreneur, communication and martial arts player Divyang Pooja Subramaniam, who lives in Bhopal. Pooja, who suffers from Neuro Disorder, has been in a wheelchair since childhood. Despite this, she did not give up. She pursued MBA and finished her studies. Though problems also increased over time in her life but her life never stopped.

Doctors said she can never be a mother.  And with her strong will power she became the mother of a son. The company she was working for rejected her from the job. After which she decided to incorporate her own company and employed people. This is just not it; she has many feathers on her hat. She can also drive. Sitting on a wheelchair, she imparts training in martial arts and communication.

What better story to read on the occasion of International Women’s Day than of hers.

On speaking about her medical condition, she said “God has chosen me so that I can give the lord’s message.” She shared that she has been suffering from a disease named Charcot Mari tooth since her birth. This disease is progressive, trouble increases with age. There started to be weakness in the legs, so she started using the help of calipers. Then eventually there was an effect in the hands. Today, the disease has affected the voice as well. When she was born with the disease, it was the time of the 80s. Accessibility and disability rights were not heard.

While sharing her journey she mentioned being a girl child and being physically disabled was challenging. Though her family was supportive and progressive. She further added that her father would lift her in his lap and climb the stairs in the school and sit in the classroom.  Sometimes there were incidents where he wasn’t around; those were the times when she used to drag herself to the class. The rainy seasons were the most problematic ones, when sometimes while dragging to the class, clothes were spoiled. It seemed strange to sit with children in such a situation. She shared that there were times when she used to cry after coming home as to why this has happened to me. On which her mother used to console her by saying that “God has chosen you so that you can give a message, inspire the society.”

Wrote Examination in English in a Hindi Medium Institute

Pooja shared that she faced every difficulty that could possibly come in her way to prove herself. She had to choose commerce stream after her 10th grade and due to not being able to do practicals she had to shift from an English medium school to a Hindi medium. This change was a lot to cope with that also made her depressed. She took special permission in school to write her examination in English as she has shifted from an English medium school.   A similar situation arose in her graduation, where she did her exam in English from a Hindi medium institute. She pursued her MBA from Indore.

Friends become strength

Her story is encouraging. She wanted to study in college. Her brother encouraged her in taking this step and told her that it is necessary for her to take this leap. Then she stayed away from family, all alone and managed her studies while living in a hostel. Physical challenges also came her way as there were certain classes that used to be upstairs. In such situations, she could not attend. Then I had to read those subjects separately. Her colleagues were very supportive; eventually her friend became her strength.

Rejected in job, then went into depression

According to Pooja, she said ‘When I gave the presentation, my hands and feet were shivering. Then one of my friends wrote in my hand ‘You can do it’.  While giving the presentation, I was reading the same line ‘You can do it’ again and again.”

Sharing this incident she said that having Inspiration and Right Guidance changes your life. That year, she mentioned that she received the Best Orator Award. Being rejected in campus selection pinched her bad. That feeling made her realise that she would never get a job. This thought pushed her into depression. But then a sudden realisation struck her, she thought that rather than a job seeker she can become a job creator. So she started an English language institute.

Never gave up

Pooja says that there is no cure for this disease. A painful foot and hand surgery has already been performed. Her marriage was possible after rigorous physiotherapy and treatment. The doctor even said that she can never be a mother. This news made her lose all her hopes and she thought of giving up at this point, but she thought if she would give up today a lot of other women like her would stop dreaming. With faith, will power and courage in 2005 she gave birth to a son.

Learned driving and martial arts

She always dreamt of driving a car. But when she wanted to learn, nobody was willing to teach. Her brother, his god sent angel, helped in her dream to come true. He made certain changes in a car that made it friendly to use for her. She accepted that while learning to drive she was scared. Eventually, today, she drives with confidence. Talking about her martial arts love, she shared that her husband is an international martial arts player. She also learned martial arts. She has received many accolades including the Brewery Award, National Award.  But of all awards she feels to have the greatest honor when someone says that “you are our inspiration.”

Causes of Disability is Infrastructure

She says that disability is due to lack of infrastructure facilities.  A disable can very much do everything like any other human but just the way would be a little different. She says if disabled are given access everywhere, they would be able to prove themselves and if the government works on infrastructure, then they would also be able to work and be a part of the “main-stream”.