A Quadriplegic’s Journey To An IIM – The Unravelling of Mystic Phoenix At IIM Amritsar

“My ability can overcome my disability”- was the eloquent, panache reply given by Shashank, on my seemingly trivial query – how did you manage to overcome the hurdles? In true sense, his deterrence, determination seamlessly overcome all the misfortunes and ill fate that stroked his life. The evolving life of ‘’our guy’’ is a manifestation and evinces the spirit of Phoenix, depicted thousands of years ago.

It was the fateful day of 18th March 2012, during his first year at the engineering college THDC IHET, when an accident changed, altered and flipped the way life was about to present in the cusp of perception to him. The injury sustained, as the effect of the mishap completely numbed the lower half of his body, and the debilitating condition was medically termed as ‘’Paraplegia‘’. The condition was harrowing to the threshold limit, which drained him physically, emotionally, financially and left its footprint in the spiritual realm as well. The dream of joining the defence forces shattered consequently and he cried and yelled in the shadows of midnight oil. Nevertheless, the wedged noise of panting, whining failed to dissipate the bubbling burst of grief, which mimicked the steam waiting to burst out of the pan.

On his return to the college, the peer group extended all possible help and endeavoured to the fullest term to make his life easier. The college administration played a pivotal role in terms of allowing Shashank to sit for the exams without the mandatory attendance requirements. The frosty, inhospitable, ruthless, cold temperature added to the woes and suffering of ortho rusty problem. Life sailed on a snail’s pace with perennial shadow of intense pain and the distant hope of horizon to make a substantiate change to his life. It proved to be a boon and acted as a stimulus to appear for CAT 2014. In contrast to his expectations, he fared with a below average percentile, which proved to be futile in securing admission in the elite b-schools. Tightening his bridles, he cracked the CAT juggernaut in 2015 and fetched himself the joining letter of IIM Amritsar. But, financial constraints acted as a stymie and he eventually joined us in 2017.

The positive vibe he generates is contagious, the inspiration we draw is life-defining, the aura that circumscribes his persona adds conductivity in the surroundings and the holistic experience of his life is an inspiration that can tweak the life of people in a definite perceptible way. On a concluding note, the message we at IIM Amritsar want to communicate articulately – Thanks for being there. You matter a lot to us.

Sushant Shaurya

Sushant Shaurya,Student at Indian Institute of Management, Amritsar (2017-2019)