Hi, I am Rahul Ramugade and this is my story.
I am an Indian wheelchair Cricket player. A captain of Mumbai wheelchair Cricket team, a National Para- swimmer and an adventure sports lover.
I have won many tournaments; Domestic as well as International and have won many medals in Para-Swimming too.
I was born & brought up in a Maharashtrian middle-class family in Mumbai. Till the age of one, I was normal, but then my legs got affected by Polio. My parents started the treatment & exercises immediately to keep me standing on my feet, but unfortunately, I lost the ability to walk.
Then to start my education, I was admitted to a school for physically challenged children. There I was first introduced to swimming. They also taught me many life skills to use in my day to day life. I moved out of my school in 4th standard & completed my studies till 10th in the BPM High School at Khar with normal children. This school was very supportive & helpful. I was given a classroom on the ground floor for my entire schooling years. Then I took admission to one of the best colleges in Mumbai for further studies. The college was not disabled-friendly. Hence, I continued my studies at Mumbai University’s Distance Education Institute.
My first job was at the Eureka Forbes Call Centre. It was especially for people with disabilities, it is known as “Euro Able” and is located in Chembur. I left the job because of the long commute. Then I joined Tata Croma Store in Bandra as a customer service executive. I left this job because the store was not easily accessible & the washroom was not wheelchair friendly. After which I took up a job at the Shoppers Stop’s Corporate Office at Malad. I was working in the e-commerce department. I used to travel by a modified Activa, 30 Kms a day.
Even after completing one year at the job I had to leave because I suffered from Tennis Elbow and back pain. Currently, I am working from home for a Fibre Optic company as an accountant and office admin.
One thing I want to highlight is that in 2012 I was denied admission in one of the local swimming pools in Mumbai because of my disability & now in 2020, I have won 14 state-level medals in Para-Swimming.
My only message to the society as a person with disabilities is that; I don’t need sympathy, but equal opportunity and inclusion, everything else I am capable of achieving through my hard work and talent.