An achieved author. An suffered banker. A pioneering Certified Documentary Credit Specialist. A sought after motivational speaker. Many accomplishments, one epithet- Siddharth Jayakumar from Bengaluru.
There is one more thing to know about Siddarth. Originally from Chikmagaluru, Siddharth was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy( CP) when he was merely six days old.
CP is a condition that affects the coordination between mind and torso. In Siddharth’s case, CP affected his body movement and lecture clarity.
But Siddharth, a banker by professions, never let the circumstances win and instead focused on building a life where he would accomplish every objective , no matter how challenging.
And he did.
His journey from being labelled as’ mentally retarded’ by culture to being hailed as an inspiration by Dr APJ Abdul Kalam is real inspiration.
” I watch the world very differently, where society has nothing to do with my success or failure. Merely I am responsible for where “peoples lives” runs. I believe that change begins with me. Having children with disabilities is not an easy task in a society that is largely ignorant and insensitive. There are all kinds of people, some taunt you and some support you unconditionally, but that in no way should affect me ,” Siddharth tells The Better India.
A Fighter’s Spirit
Six periods after Siddharth was born, he was diagnosed with CP.
” When we took him to physicians, he was diagnosed with mental retardation. We were shocked ,” recalls his mother, Komala Jayakumar in’ Simply Being Sidds! My Fight with Life and God ‘, a volume written by Siddharth along with his friend Umashree Raghunath in 2017.
His mothers were appalled at the doctor’s comment, presenting them an insight into how ignorant and nasty culture could get. They refused to believe their son was any less. They were sure he was brilliant.
So they braced themselves and from very early on imparted him the confidence that he could have everything he wanted.
” For virtually eight years, I stood at home with no friends or schoolmates until I joined the Spastic Society of India in Bengaluru. I learnt typing with one thumb and enjoyed doing maths. Determining my quick learning abilities, I was directly promoted to second tier from upper kindergarten ,” he shares.
He switched to Vidya Sagar, local schools in Chennai for spastic children after his father, a PR professional, got a transfer. He continued his studies until the eighth point and then joined a regular school.
This served as a turning point for Siddharth as now he had to study alongside regular kids. Teasing and gazes became an everyday affair, but he was glad to see more and more students understand better CP through him.
In his 10 th boards, Siddharth scored 98 per cent of cases in his favourite topic, Maths.
” I adoration the magical world-wide of numbers where every sum is so unique and challenging. Solving troubles came naturally to me, so I took commerce in 12 th committees and scored 90 per cent of cases. I felt like nothing could stop me, and no one would doubt my intellect. But I was turned back by many colleges due to my condition. It was sad to see their ignorance succes my brilliant academic records ,” he shares.
When everyone told him that he was ambitious for dreaming about a Masters, he not only applied for the Masters but likewise secured a distinction. Once again, he smashed stereotypes- along with his quizs. He likewise maintains a Certificate for Documentary Credit Specialists, a course that strengthens practical knowledge and understanding of the complex issues associated with documentary credit practice.
There were many bumps in his professional career as well where people would be bowled over by his abilities but would not hire him due to his appearance.
” I was not in a position to get a undertaking even after trying at many regions until eventually, a bank assured potential in me. They did not judge my situation, and I got the job on merit. Now it has been practically 15 times in the banking sector ,” he says.
It was a reciprocal love
Siddharth Jayakumar distinctly recollects his encounter with late President APJ Abdul Kalam in 2013 during an occurrence in Chennai. In a crowd of hundreds of people, the President instantly recognised him and walked over to greet him.
” After exchanging jokes, he asked me if I have considered his advice of writing a book. I was surprised he recollected our first meet despite interacting with hundreds of thousands of people. But then that’s the reason why he was a people’s President. His humble nature, witty humour and kindness will ever stay with me ,” Siddharth shares.
Dr Kalam had come across Siddharth’s story in 2005 through a web portal and impressed by his indomitable fighting feeling. He invited him at Chennai airport for an informal meeting.
” He was so humble and friendly during our first meeting. He taught me it “doesnt really matter” at what position you are in life or how much fund “youve had”, the important thing is to bring a vary by being yourself. He even encouraged me to write a book and inspire others through my story. After that, I satisfy him 7-8 occasions during different occasions and each time he treated me like a friend ,” Siddharth shares.
Dr Kalam also inspired him to spread awareness and educate people about CP. So, Siddharth started delivering motivational talks. He has spoken at more than 250 meetings/ occurrences/ seminars reaching out to thousands of people.
Whether it was transitioning from a special school to a mainstream one, get a distinction in his Masters or bagging a position in a bank, the 40 -year-old confidently sailed through bumpy tides. An inspiration for us all.
( Edited by Vinayak Hegde)
Read more: thebetterindia.com