Human beings have demonstrated that they were created in the mirror image of the universal energy since the beginning of time, with their evolutionary trait, the perpetual force of living, eternally indomitable willpower, and cosmic courage.
Dr Jaiprakash Sharma is an epic tale of colossal inspiration and a living legend, carrying this timeless urge in his heart to survive and flourish no matter what.
The story of his own life will melt even a stone-cold soul. He was paralyzed at the age of ten. After that although he has been taken care of by his family, “My family members got me treated a lot,” including Shri Premlata ji (his mother), Shri Nityanand ji (his elder brother), four elder sisters Kaushalya ji, Vimla ji, Shobha ji, and Sumitra ji and treated by numerous doctors in innumerable big and small hospitals, “they took me to big hospitals and got me treated by big doctors like KD Dholakia and JS Chawla,” from Rajasthan, Mumbai, and Hyderabad, with multiple operations all over his body, Dr Jaiprakash remains paralyzed and cannot walk without a wheelchair, crutches, crane or walkers.
A Thunderbolt Pierced Heart
Yet in his steely nerves, he laughs out by reciting Ramcharitmanas’s verse 2.262 and translating it for us, “The whole world is witness to the death of Maharaj (father) and the ill-intelligence of the mother by fulfilling the vow of love. Mothers are distraught, they are not seen. The men and women of Awadhpuri are burning with sorrowful heat. Hearing and understanding that I am the root of all these calamities, I have suffered all the sorrows. Shri Raghunathji went to the forest on foot without wearing shoes, dressed like sages along with Laxman and Sitaji. Shankarji is the witness. Hearing this, I remained alive even with this wound (I did not die on hearing this Went)! Then even after seeing the love of Nishadraj, even this thunderbolt did not pierce the heart (it did not burst).”
Dr Jaiprakash, the disabled social activist and literature writer, is the Founder of Dadhich Sandstone, Rajasthan. Recipient of many national and international awards for his social work over the last 27 years, he has been appointed as the Brand Ambassador of Jodhpur, Rajasthan by the World Book of Records and Shri Dadasaheb Phalke Sanstha.
The Eternal Fountain of Courage
He reveals, “My father, Shri Satyanarayan ji Sharma was a social worker. I learned about social service from him. My mother also helped me a lot and is doing it even today. My elder brother used to carry me on his shoulder when I had paralysis. My elder sister Kaushalya ji kept me in her in-laws’ house in Hyderabad where she also got me treated.” The other three elder sisters also helped him a lot. They always came when he used to live alone and still keep coming whenever needed.
He remembers when his family took him to Visakhapatnam to Dr. Adinath Rao. The team operated on him but was unsuccessful. Then he was admitted back to a hospital in Mumbai, where he was kept for six months. Still, his condition did not improve. “Then I tried to improve myself. I used to try day and night to strengthen myself and learned physiotherapy,” he shares. Then he got better and made his living worthwhile. He went out to his Jodhpur Regional Leaders summit every day for social work. One of them is the former Jodhpur Development Authority Chairman Mr Rajendra Singh Solanki and the other Jodhpur’s former Mayor Mr RameshwarJi Dadhich. Once during his social work activity, his balance got disturbed fracturing his foot. Then a metal rod was put in his foot and was treated for three years, “Still I did not lose courage,” says Dr Jaiprakash.
Recalling his childhood trauma, he says that when he was first paralyzed, his whole body stopped working, “Both arms and both legs. My waist did not work. I used to do all the routine work from my bed. My family members used to do it for me. Even today, I am 80% disabled. When I made myself somehow capable, then I made my body the purpose of my research and as I recovered, I kept learning more,” he says. As he got successful he began helping other disabled people becoming a teacher of disability in his area, motivating them so that they would not struggle too much like him. He helps patients with polio, paralysis, spinal cord injury, etc., so that those people can move in the right direction.
Though he went to school till the fifth grade before paralysis struck him, he could not learn further. Yet he became a teacher for people with disabilities. Along with his social work, he writes poems on various topics including India and Indian culture. “I can operate the computer. I go to high officials, and the best politicians to help my disabled brothers and sisters so that they too can get every possible help from the government. I participated in several movements of people with disabilities and sometimes even has to receive police back-trash for my disabled community,” says Dr Jaiprakash.
A Hopefull Sky
He says forgiveness is his way of living. He has slipped and fractured himself several times. In 2012, when his leg was fractured, though doctors put a metal rod in his leg, they spoiled it for him. “Still I forgave the doctor. Because forgiveness is life; forgiveness is religion; forgiveness is action. I have learned to forgive everyone. Wherever I see wrong, I forgive everyone. I pray to God that ‘May God blesses everyone; gives knowledge to everyone. I cannot see people in sorrow. Problems always surround me, but still, I do not give up on my goal. As I have dedicated my whole life to the rights of my disabled brothers and sisters,” he says. Whenever he receives a call from some disabled person in distress, irrespective of the situation, Dr Jaiprakash goes out of his way to help them.
He earns his livelihood from Dadhich Sandstone, a mining quarry stone business set up by his father in Jodhpur. However, the road leading to the quarry and his unit is very difficult for him to cover. Yet he never loses hope or courage. According to him, he faces many difficulties in his business including receiving permission from the Forest Department, the National Green Tribunal, and Environmental Department. Still overcoming all the adversities, he keeps going on. He keeps going out in his social contributions in every aspect of disability, sharing a part of his earnings from his business, and participating in Rajasthan State Para-Sports.
An Earnest Appeal
Although, he has never received any medals in these sports, still “The experience taught me a lot. That is enough for me,” he states. With that experience he inspires others by sharing with them his earnings, learnings, and whatever information he could gather. “I attend seminars, conferences, and webinars. I frequently appeal to the government to attend to the issues of disabled people.” Issues like GST-free medical, and equipment help.
People with a disability faces three many significant problems. First is a physical disability, then a financial burden due to medical treatments, mental stress, and pain, and social, political, and institutional apathy. He states that there are merely 2-3% of disabled people expect government help rather than being a burden on their family, friends, and acquaintances. “The government pays little attention to us.”
The Future of the Fighting Spirit
Fighting disability for the entire life is not easy and is made even more difficult by little help from others. Nonetheless, due to Dr Jaiprakash’s continuous battle for the Divyang people earned him many awards and accolades. The founder of Swarna Bharat Parivar, Shri Piyush Pandit ji gave him Heroic Human Award, honoring him at a ceremony.
“The International Internship University awarded me a doctorate degree and many other organizations like Umeed Helpline Foundation, Chandrakala Charitable Trust, Lions Club, Delhi Wage, etc. honoured me. When I am alone, I also write poems. I try to understand what I see in life and sometimes I create poetry based on it. Many of my poems have been published in magazines and poetry clubs and organizations have also awarded and rewarded me,” concludes Dr Jaiprakash reciting a poem of his own…
You might say, that I’m all bend, yet I’ll fight till the end,
You’ll see, none can offend, as I’m the spirit godsend…!