A day with the Hercules at a polling booth !!

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Something exceptional happened with me today, which resonated the phrase I always loved – You lose anything in your mind first before actually losing it! So think twice when you say “I have lost”..

At an AAP polling booth desk today in Andheri E, Mumbai, amid scorching heat, I heard someone screaming at us “How can my disability stop me from casting vote” ?
The Hercules didn’t submit to the polling officials who turned him away, coz of his disability, from the polling booth placed on the first floor of a building without a ramp or a lift..
The man with a grit, had an unshakable resolve to set an example to his family & friends that if he could, they should..
His father gave up, knowing that his son couldn’t move an inch on his own, he asked him to return home fearing the ordeal he might encounter in the process of achieving his right to vote.
But his decision was firm; cruising on his automatic wheelchair from polling station to our polling booth desk, placed a 100 mts away, he approached us AAP volunteers for help.

We decided to precede either to hear a Yes or record election officials on a video saying NO.
But to our pleasant surprise, election staff apprised us of the situation of having committed a blunder of putting the booths on the first floor without a ramp or a lift & agreed to come along to help lift our man to the booth on the first floor.
A plastic chair with wings ( bamboos ) was handed over to us, to which our Hercules didn’t complain even once !!
He smiled & said: “shift me on to that plastic chair but just a little gingerly, my bones can dislocate with just a little pressure on them”..
We navigated the chair with wings through the crowd & clapped to the sound of the vote being casted.

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Seeing the kind of fundamental issues we crib about but we still fail to do the basics to arrest them, baffles me & the reasons we give, which are nothing but excuses, highlights the attitude we suffer from – “ Sab Chalta Hai Attitude” !!

A father who stood by his son even when he was finding difficult to stand by himself & a son who can make any father proud, made me realize how small have been my contributions & sacrifices to have been blessed with the life that I live today….
It was by far one of the best days of my life to have met someone who is an exceptional example of Determination………..

P:S – Hercules ( Mr. Irani ) mentioned that what happened today is no exception to the ordeals he has to go through on a daily basis in India. He also highlighted the plight of disabled people in India & the lack of basic facilities to help them live a normal life.

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