A fighter in all situations- Abhinav Verma

December 17, 2018

Everything was good and everyone was happy. I had been enjoying my college life to the fullest and I had started working from 7th January 2013 at Paytm (One97 communication-Kolkata) as business operation after completing my BTech. But just after a year of joining I met with an accident in Kolkata where I was working.

I was returning to my job after the completion of my two days leave from my hometown Giridih. I somehow fell in the narrow gap between the platform and the train when I was getting out from the train. It was a cold winter morning, around 5, and there was no one to be seen to help me out in getting out of there. And before I could get myself out from underneath the train, it started moving. And everything changed within seconds.
RPF and some coolies saw me lying on the track. They picked me out from there and loaded me on the cart they use for moving luggage and they took me to R.G.Kar Medical college and hospital. They had already seen my phone and had called my family.
Somehow my upper body remained in the gap area but my right leg and left hand got crushed badly. My life was saved but I lost a very important part of me that was going to haunt me my whole life.
By 11:30 my colleagues and some official staffs reached the hospital. Doctors were not doing any treatment. And they refused my colleagues for discharge without any presence of a blood-related family member. My home is almost 400 km from there. So my parents couldn’t reach the hospital before 6:30 in the evening.

I was taken to Apollo Kolkata after that. The doctors told my parents that the infection had worsened because of the delay and it had got into the blood as well. They suggested for amputation up to above knee joint to eradicate the infection. They found out that I have broken my pelvis as well. They performed 5 major surgeries to fix everything.
I came to know about all this after a week. I was disheartened. Everything was shattered. I felt like my happy life is ruined. Thoughts like ‘I will be dependent on others from now on’ haunted me the most. I was an independent person who was completely dependent on others within seconds. My life was saved but I wasn’t living, I had lost the will…
Some Ottobock guy used to come to me and show me prosthetics which could enable me to be completely independent. I could see a light of hope somewhere after talking to him. But there was something else destined for me. When the rods were removed from my pelvis and I started sitting, I felt severe pain in my back. I was going to get one more shock. It turned out my spine was broken at T10-T11 level. My hope of walking and being independent again was shattered to pieces. I got into depression. I lost the will to live. It was so much to bear.

I was then admitted to BGH Bokaro on a suggestion of the doctors. My elder sister and brother-in-law lived there and they used to visit me and motivate me by showing me some videos and stories of people around the world who chose to fight and didn’t give up. I didn’t like it at that time but somehow it helped me be what I am today. It shaped me, helped me out to get out of the dark phase.
After 6 months I came to know about CMC which has quality rehabilitation facilities, in fact, the best in India. My life was going to take a turn again, away from these sorrows and depression. Away from these dark hours, there was sunshine waiting for me.
I got admitted to CMC and met many people who used to volunteer as a mentor like Justin Jesudas, a quadriplegic and international para-swimmer and shooter, Navin Iyer who is working in MNC company despite being on wheels and the one who moved me the most, Vaidy.

After meeting them I was like “picture abhi baaki hai mere dost”. There was so much in life that I was missing. There was so much I could do. If these people with far more severe disability than me could do so good in their life, so could I.
I was there for almost 5 months. And those 5 months taught me more than what I had learned in my whole life. Most importantly, the will to live and not to be just alive was back again. I could feel the energy gathering inside me. The vibes of people around there were so positive. They were living their life to the fullest, now it was my turn.
There used to be a one-hour sports session after physiotherapy. I always liked sports and I indulged myself in it. After returning to my hometown, Giridih, I found out an indoor stadium and started practicing. I participated in National para badminton championship and won gold and bronze in nationals.

I had lost my job. I had learned that being financially independent is as important as being physically independent to live an active life. So I started preparing for bank exams on my own with the help of youtube videos because going out was a very big problem. I had to face accessibility issues everywhere, even in my own house.
Currently I am playing badminton, doing a job as a clerk in Canara bank, Giridih and mentoring people, especially from Jharkhand. Most of them are SCIs. (Spinal Cord Injured Persons). The job keeps me busy and I like going there because I get to know new people. You get to learn so much from the people around you.
I love mentoring because I know how being helpless and living without interest in life feels. And most importantly, I know how it feels to break all the barriers that the society and your mind has set for you. I know how it feels to enjoy your life again.
What I’ve learned is that we build a circle around ourselves and we don’t want to get out of it. People call it a comfort zone. And it’s very important to get out of that comfort zone. We start underestimating ourselves. But you must keep it in mind that you’re way more than what you think you are.
During all those hospital months, I learned that the support of family and friends matter the most. It helps you keep fighting mentally. And that is where you need to win the first battle, in your mind. Other wins will follow eventually.

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