“When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this: You haven’t.” These words by Thomas Edison truly come alive when you meet Paulami Patel, a story, a life which strived to shine even in the darkest moment and become an inspiration for many!
 
The VIDYA family has been actively participating in the TATA Marathon since past 8 years. We feel proud to share that this year we had Ms Paulami Patel running along side our youth as the VIDYA ambassador. An absolute inspiration of for all, Paulami is the director at the Steel Projects (India Pvt. Ltd.) and has been an active member of the Leo Club Mumbai ever since she was 16 years old. Along with her dedication towards her profession, Paulami thoroughly enjoys reading, dancing and traveling. As it is rightly said that nothing comes easy in life, Paulami too had to go through her share of struggles. However, a fiercely positive and bold woman that she is, Paulami decided to fight and overcome all  odds with a smile.

Here is her story in her own words-

“I was 12 years old when I got electrocuted while playing with a fishing rod. The rod slipped out of the window and while trying to catch it, I caught onto an electrical wire instead — 11,000 volts of current ran through my right hand. I was rushed to the ICU with severe burns and parts of my flesh missing — after a week, my right hand had to be amputated to prevent the Gangrene from spreading. 

At 12, I didn’t understand the magnanimity of what had happened — I just knew that I had to start like a baby again. My parents and friends were like pillars during this time — in fact, dad had made a rule that whoever came to visit me had to first tell a joke before starting any conversation — and it helped! I would look forward to laughing and slowly began to get ready to face the world with my new reality. My first task was to practice to write with my prosthetic arm — it seemed impossible at first, but as my ayurvedic treatment continued, everyday I could grasp the pen a little better and then one day it just happened! I wrote my first word and by the end of the treatment, I had rewritten the entire book, ‘Matilda’ — what a victory!

That’s how the shift happened, instead of focusing on the struggle, I looked at it as a celebration of my second shot at life. From the day I zipped my own bag to the day I wore clothes on my own, the first time I locked a door or wrote all my examination papers by myself — everything was a celebration!

I went onto do my BCOM, got an MBA and lived by myself for two years — that’s when I knew that I was enough; that my disability was just a part of my life, not what defined it!


At first, I tried to hide behind long sleeves, dupattas and never wearing shorts because I have scars all over my legs, but over time I let it all go because I became proud of my flaws and scars…they made me who I am today — fearless and positive.
At 28, I’ve had 45 surgeries and lost my right hand, but still lived to the fullest. I married the love of my life who only lifts me higher, work full time on my business, drive like a boss, skydive, bungee jump and do multiple open water drives and have so much more to do…but not before I continue to celebrate every little victory and do my little dance along the way!”

 

 

The VIDYA Team
The VIDYA Team

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