Bharath works as a clerk in the Superintendent of Police Office of Vellore. He walks swiftly with his calipers and crutches – a man on a mission to help people overcome disability and live life to their full potential.
As a young school boy, Bharath was active in sports, winning medals and playing district level football. However, in 1988, a tragic accident left him crushed under a wall. His spinal cord was injured and he was paralysed from waist down – unable to control his legs, bladder or bowel. His family admitted him in CMC’s Rehab Institute. Initially he struggled to do ordinary tasks like walking. He was depressed feeling his future fade away before his eyes.
But then Bharath attended the first Rehab Mela. He was anxious and hesitant but meeting 45 people with spinal cord injury, each with varying degrees of ability, energised and inspired him. He became a champion of disability awareness, patient education, public speaking, sports and cultural activities, peer support, community initiatives and even blood donation. Now, 3 decades after the first Mela, Bharath continues to work with CMC’s Rehab team and actively championing for inclusion and accessibility.
Every year, 200+ spinal cord injury patients, now life-long friends, gather for a weekend of celebrations – sports, games, cultural activities and free health check-ups.
You can be a part of our unique Rehab Mela this weekend (16-18 Feb 2024) by volunteering your time and meeting friends like Bharath. You can also donate on CMC’s official giving website – we spend ₹5 lakh for organising the Mela & every contribution is precious!
Story contributed by the Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation