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Disabled physiotherapists excel in their field

DNIS News Network -- Visually challenged physiotherapists show others the way.

Though visually disabled since birth, Sagar Prajapati has been practicing physiotherapy on his own for the past three years, visiting up to seven patients a day. His list of clients includes State Chief Secretary P.K. Laheri, MLA from Ellisbridge constituency, Bhavin Seth and late Haren Pandya. Mr Prajapati's hard work was recognised and given due worth at the recent World Disability Day.

But the journey was not always marked with achievements. Though he passed out of the physiotherapy school run by Blind People's Association in Vastrapur, he had to face several challenges to get to where he is today. "As we are visually impaired, we are expected to prove that we are as capable as a sighted person even before we are handed over a case," says Mr Prajapati, whose career also includes voluntary work to help earthquake victims in Bhuj.

Mr Prajapati is not the only one who has established himself in this field. Mukesh Patel lost his sight in 1993 after attaining a Masters Degree in Organic Chemistry in 1993. He moved toAhmedabad from Ankaleshwar and completed a physiotherapy course from BPA in 1996. Now he is a practical instructor as well as an established physiotherapist. Following suit is Dilip Shah from Memnagar. He says, "Over the years, not only has awareness about physiotherapy increased, but people have also gained confidence in our ability."

Reaffirming their abilities is Dr S.K. Panchal, Physio-Occupational Therapist and in-charge at the school. He proudly states that all 220 visually impaired students of the school are employed.