Vikram Agnihotri from Indore lost both his arms to electrocution when he was seven years old. But he trained his legs to do all that he could have done without arms, so much so that he never felt like he was missing out on anything. He studied at a regular school, finished his master’s degree, and is now a motivational speaker who also runs a gas agency.
Though Vikram had tried his hand at a lot of things, there was one that he had never given much thought to until three years ago — learning to drive so that he did not have to depend on anyone. According to The Times of India, he said,
“I used to have a full-time driver. But then I realised… you cannot depend on anyone for your basic needs.”
Hence, he bought a car with automatic gear shift but learning to drive proved difficult with without arms no one to help him. No training institute was willing to help a physically challenged person learn how to drive. But determined not to let that stop him, he learnt from videos available online.
But the difficulties didn’t end there. Impressed as the RTO officials were, they could not oblige because the law did not permit giving licences to bilateral amputees.
Vikram then took the battle to court and did not give up until the law was amended to pave the way for people like him. Since getting the licence, he has driven more than 22,000 km and is soon to get himself into the Limca Book of Records.
Currently, Vikram is the chairman of Vital Spark Welfare Society through which he gives motivational training, lectures, and workshops for everyone from schoolgoing kids to adults in the corporate sector.
Vikram also swims and plays football and all this is possible because of the support he received from friends and family while growing up, although the same cannot be said for the majority of physically challenged people in India. Talking about that in an interview with Daily Mail, he said,
“I was lucky to be surrounded by people who encouraged me to take my disability in stride. I was never made to feel embarrassed because of not having arms. There was no bullying or taunts ever, only encouragement.”