I am Chaitanya Mukund , a person with Disability having Cerebral Palsy. In theory, it is said to be mild, but in practicality, it has impacted my walking, standing and overall balancing abilities to a great extent. My family has been the greatest support system of my life.
They have instilled in me the mindset of being ‘Limitless’, and gifted me the ‘NEVER GIVE UP!’ attitude.
My disability went undetected until the age 1, after which, the real hustle and habilitation began. I was refused admission by many schools, just because of my disability.
During my school days, I struggled a lot in studies, due to dyslexia and slow handwriting. Classmates often refused me to lend their notebooks for completing my notes. But despite all these challenges, I passed my school with flying colors! After the school, I decided to pursue my passion in the subject of Mass Communication, and did graduation in it.
Following the completion of my graduation in 2015, I landed my first job in one of the most reputed multinational company of the BPO sector: IBM CONCENTRIX. But the stint was quite short, which ended up with me quitting the job, once and for all, due to the age old BPO culture of long working hours, along with endless nightshifts. Lack of sleep started affecting my overall body movements. I developed severe back pain, due to prolonged sitting for hours at a stretch. Although the company claimed to be disabled friendly, I personally faced quite a lot of humiliation due to my disability. Hence I left the job and I decided to do my post graduation in Mass Communication, while to looking for better job opportunities.
I was still pursuing my Masters in 2017, when I started my career as a freelance writer and created content for the official blog of a multinational company. That was a turning point of my life. In 2018, I made my debut as a specially-abled super model at a fashion event which made the Guinness Book of World Records for The Most Designers to Present in a Single Continuous Fashion Show. In 2019, with my first book Shivay: The Wonder Boy, I introduced India's first superhero, whose alter-ego is physically challenged.
In 2020, when pandemic shook the world, I started a series called: #SALUTINGTHESUPERHEROES, on my blog: Memoirs of a Special Child, where I interviewed some eminent frontline warriors, to highlight their contribution in the society, during these testing times. My efforts also got recognized and appraised in the media.
Through my blog: Memoirs of a Special Child, I am committed towards spreading awareness about disability and positive thinking. The blog started in 2014, the year I discovered my love for writing.
In 2021, I was among the top 25 PWDs from all over India, who are currently pursing NCPEDP - Javed Abidi Fellowship on Disability, which is fellowship programme for youth with disabilities, who will pursue advocacy for disability rights and issues on a selected theme. I am working on the theme of Disability Abuse in India.
While the first wave of pandemic was still on, my long forgotten passion for voice over and voice acting suddenly remerged as I got the opportunity to interview some of the top guns of Indian voice industry, such as Sanket Mhatre (The Hindi voice of Allu Arjun, Bear Grylls, Ben 10, Deadpool etc) and Rajesh Kava (The Hindi voice of Harry Potter).
In the times to come, I look forward to continue to learn and excel in both my passions of disability advocacy and voice acting.
- By Chaitanya Mukund
P.S. Chaitanya is a Peer on SoulUp. He has overcome many odds as a person who lives with cerebral palsy and dyslexia. If you have had a similar journey and would like to have a 1-on-1 conversation with her, you can book one here.