Born With impaired legs and missing fingers, this iitian is an inspiration for us

“I feel I am a born star.. you know why? Because I have this joined thumb in my left hand, just like Hritik Roshan,” he says and joins in our laughter.

22 year old Shivam Porwal was affected by phocomelia syndrome (a disease in which arms and legs are either missing or tampered) while he was still in his mother’s womb. Shivam was born with just 3 fingers in his right hand and a joined thumb in his left. His legs were completely tampered and he still walks on his knees.

“When I was born, everyone suggested my parents to kill me immediately. People would come from far off places just to see me and would pity my parents. Shivam was staying in a small ancestral house with a joint family of 16 members in Mahidpur, Madhya Pradesh. His father was working at a pan-shop on a salary of Rs. 100 per month. With his limited earnings and very little savings, he took Shivam to every possible doctor but there was no cure to the disease. Though Shivam could not do physical activities like other kids did, he was a very quick learner and was highly determined in whatever he would do.

Shivam could read books when he was in nursery, hence his teachers promoted me to class 1, right after nursery. But there were speculations made by people that there’s no use of his education as he will never be able to write with just two fingers. But his mother took it on her to teach him to write.

“My mother is the most loving person you will ever meet but she was hell strict with my studies. Maine belan, chappal, chimta sab ki maar khayi hai tab jaake likhna seekha,” he laughs.

It was his mother’s persistence that made him so well worse in writing that he have received many awards for best handwriting in his school days. “I was the first one in my school to learn and write in cursive, which was kind of an achievement for a kid in hindi medium. That’s when my father realised that only education can make me self dependent and he had not left any stone unturned to do that. Imagine a person having no education, no money and a disabled child, aspiring so big. He was a true hero in that sense,” says Shivam.
Though Shivam was loved by most of his teachers, because of his extraordinary intelligence, he would often come crying from the school as other kids would make fun of him or tease him for his condition.

Moreover as the school had no facility for the disabled, Shivam had to face lot of difficulties.
“There was only one washroom, which used to be dirty and wet all the time. We didn’t even know about knee- caps those days and so I would have to walk bare knee. To avoid this I would control for 6 hours straight and would use the washroom only when I came back home,” he explains.

While Shivam had his own struggles, his father was battling another one. He had been in debt since Shivam’s birth and was not able to repay that yet. So once for all he decided to stop working in the pan shop he was working in since 25 years and opened his own pan shop. This was again a big risk as he had to take another loan to open his own shop.

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Shivam Porwal