First published: Spring 2001
Pradeep Kumar, is now 27 years old. He was born deaf and partially mute, but steady determination and strong will-power enabled him to face the challenge of his handicaps.
He was born into a middle class school teacher’s family in Narwana – a small town in the Indian state of Haryana. As a child Pradeep was diagnosed by the medical profession to be 75 per cent handicapped which meant that he and his family would receive no state benefit – something that was only awarded to those with a 100 per cent disability.
His father was determined that his son should be given the same chances as children who were physically fully-able and that although it would mean a battle against the institutions – medical and educational), he was determined to give Pradeep an education. He also sensed that from a very young age his son had innate talent and as well as being bright he was gifted creatively. So against the odds, he was sent to school where he excelled. He passed his matriculation and is presently employed as a clerk at the Punjab National Bank in Narwana.