Like every day, 25-year-old Sravani, a HR professional in an MNC in Bangalore, India, set out for her workplace. Little did she know that it was a day that would pivot her life into a completely new trajectory.
Sravani missed her bus and rushed back home to grab her two-wheeler. It all seemed like any ordinary day – until on her way back from work, she had the ghastly accident which was to change the course of her life. Fortunately or unfortunately, she remembered nothing of it!
She woke up a few days later in hospital. And this was the beginning of several miserable moments. And then came the blow – a spinal injury caused by the accident left her paraplegic. A girl who once ran around the office as a busy HR professional was now bound to a wheelchair and was dependent on her family for support for even everyday basics.
Anyone in her situation would have slipped into despondency and despair. But here was a fighter who knew she had the power to rise above all circumstances.
Being bound to a wheelchair did not tie down her spirit. Sravani found solace in sketching. What was once a hobby now started blossoming into unfathomable art. “After the accident, I couldn’t sit for more than two hours at a stretch. But I wanted those two hours to be worthwhile. Sketching gave me the peace and outlet for my emotions in an unimaginable way,” says Sravani. From sketching to charcoal painting, acrylic to oil pastels, Sravani’s exploration of art caught the attention of Radhika Hormusjee, the great grand-daughter of Raja Ravi Varma, who mentored her.
“Art helped me bring back colour to my life. It helped me realise that if you are passionate about something and are willing to give it your time and sincere effort, you can really shine in your own way,” says Sravani. The last two years have been especially eventful for Sravani, who has now become an active member of the Rotary Bangalore Abilities, a club with majority of differently-abled members, joining hands to impact the community and sensitize them about disability. “We are working on projects that showcase the ability of the differently-abled and provide a platform for them to showcase their talent. Via this club, I have organized an art exhibition showcasing the artwork of 30 differently-abled artists. These were artists with polio, locomotor disabilities, down syndrome, speech and hearing impairment and visual impairment as well. But none of them let their impairment come in the way of their creative pursuits. I intend to make this an annual event and provide a platform for more such talented artists,” she says.
Sravani has been championing the cause for raising many social awareness’s in society. She is an active participant in marathons and walkathons that attract public attention towards serious social issues. She is a member of the India Inclusion Summit which works on inclusion and bringing differently-abled people to the fore.
In October 2019, Sravani was recognized as one of Asia’s Women of Substance organized by the Ladies Circle. Her efforts and grit were further recognised when was awarded the I Inspire award by
Tattva Foundation. Her story about determination to rise above her circumstances after the accident and create a niche for herself is a massive inspiration to many.
Today, Sravani has gone above and beyond just speaking of her inspiring story or sharing her emotions via art. She has now begun impacting the differently-abled via art workshops. In November 2019, she conducted an origami workshop for the visually-impaired members of Rotary Bangalore Abilities Club. The program was a massive hit and today Sravani is being approached for such impactful workshops not just for visually-impaired children, but for people with other disabilities as well. “My circumstances have helped me look beyond physical abilities and recognize people for what they truly are, beyond the impairments. These include people who pursue their interests with seriousness and passion, and they in turn are an inspiration to me,” she signs off.