I still remember the excitement from my first TEDx talk on disability and inclusion in 2013. It was around that time when I read about India Inclusion Summit (IIS) on twitter.
The word ‘inclusion’ instantly caught my attention and I began to read more about the summit and its mission. IIS has an amazing mantra: spreading awareness on inclusion of differently- abled individuals in the mainstream society and providing a platform for everyone to learn and participate in creating an egalitarian society through powerful
talks and interactive discussions.
I immediately wrote to the IIS team to know more about the summit and they instantly responded. Sridhar from the IIS team enquired more about my work on inclusion and invited me to talk to V R Ferose. I excitedly shared my story and told them how passionate I was on the subject. We had a wonderful conversation and towards the end of it they asked me to host the summit at Ritz Carlton, Bangalore. I was thrilled!!! I had never been an MC before and I loved the way the IIS team motivated me to be a part of them. I instantly said yes and began to work on the script. My mother accompanied me and we were accommodated in a lovely hotel. I am a bilateral amputee from a freak bomb blast. I believe that I am a product of inclusion. I was included in my school, my college, my society, among my peers and family. The feeling of inclusion gave me the confidence to stand up on my feet again and rebuild myself from the gory accident.
IIS was an overwhelming experience. I got to hear such inspiring stories of fighters who had overcome their disability with insurmountable strength and crusaders who were working passionately to create an inclusive society. There was music, sumptuous food and a vibrant atmosphere oozing out positive vibes. Be it the speakers, the media or the audience, everyone went back home with a lesson of believing in oneself and never giving up in life.
In addition to being in the presence of such eminent personalities fighting for a cause in which I have a personal stake, the encouragement I received from the IIS team (Ferose Sir dubbed me the ‘Inclusion Rockstar’ at the end
of the summit), has inspired me to become a warrior for inclusion myself.