Only if the CISF personnel even had an inkling of the courage and efforts that went into making an Aditya Mehta. But, they didn’t know his struggle to freedom from the sense of helplessness a person with an amputated leg feel. They made him remove the prosthetic leg, not knowing the physical pain he had to go through to wear and remove it. When Aditya tried to explain the hassle, they listened but ignored his requests. He was forced to strip search. The entire process seemed to be designed to humiliate him. It was society’s punishment for losing a leg in an accident. Aditya shared that he had bled, eventually. But, it was more an emotional scar than a physical one.
“This morning when I had to board a flight from Bangalore at 5:30 am to Hyderabad, the CISF officials made me undo and redo my prosthesis during the security check. I have been suffering with an injury since the past 20 days with my stump (OPERATED LIMB) and the security check officials only had to say “It is your problem!” in this regards. It took me 40 min for the entire process of removing and wearing back my prosthesis limb which left me bleeding at the end,” Aditya shared his pain in a Facebook post.
He has been humiliated two times in the past.
“Yet again I was forced to remove my prosthetic leg at KIA, Bangalore. Possibly an generous Dussehera gift from CISF – Central Industrial Security Force,” he wrote.
“Sarcasm aside, in my earlier posts, I have already mentioned how painful the procedure is to remove the prosthetics and wear it back. Worth mentioning is the psychological scar that it can leave on a physically challenged person’s mind,” said the two-time para-cycling Asian Paralympics silver medallist,” he added.
Aditya said that the incident wouldn’t hurt his morale as he was not a weak person. He wrote this incident bolstered his commitment to champion the cause of handicapped people. It is not something that he was writing in the heat of the moment or in anger. He is one of the strongest persons one can come across. His story is gut-wrenching. But his triumph over his circumstances and his never-say-die attitude is inspirational to say the least.
Aditya was running a successful business when his life changed with an accident.
“One day, I was riding to go meet my stockist. As I was on the road, a bus suddenly hit me from behind. I managed to hold my balance even though I was riding a Bullet,” an article on his Aditya Mehta Foundation, an NGO run by him, said.
The bus rammed into him again. He was dragged for 300 metres. As he was trying to save his face from being crushed by the tyre, his leg came under it. His bones were shattered. He was lying under the bus, pleading for help. That was the first and the last time he needed help.
Despite the excruciating pain, Aditya extricated himself out of the wreck. In the hospital, it was a different struggle. Due to some medical complication, Aditya was not administered pain killers before dressing his wounds. The pain was becoming unbearable. He had to take the most difficult decision of his life. He asked the doctors to amputate his leg. His right leg was amputated.
He has to shun his garments business after the accident. He was depressed, but not shattered. Whenever someone called him a ‘bechara’, he screamed back that he was not a ‘bechara’. He decided to bounce back. The prosthetic leg was fitted on his stump, and after big efforts he learnt to walk with it.
Inspired by a cycle club that he came across, he borrowed his cousin’s cycle and paddled for a kilometer. He said he fell many times. “Every fall made me stronger. I learnt from every fall. I just kept going. I never stopped”. His determination was so strong that he cycled everyday for kilometers. Later, he became the only para-cyclist to have covered 100 km in 5.5 hours. He ushered in the Limca book of records for his feat.
As Aditya was preparing for Asian championship in Delhi, he met with another accident. He made slight modification in his cycle for maximum performance. The cycle malfunctioned and he fell when his cycle was doing 40kmph. He received injury in his back. Doctors advised him not to participate. But, nothing could stop him. “I was the first Indian amputee to participate. This is all that I dreamt of. I was representing my family, community and country. Nothing could stop me,” he says.
The first race was a time trial. He had to cycle for 25 kilometers. Aditya rode without any regard for his pain. His coach, later, told him that he got a silver. He had got tears in his eyes. Though, he had pain in his tail bone, he participated in the race the second time. It was a 40 kilometer race. He again got a silver medal.
Watch: When he was humiliated in the past
Courtesy: YouTube/Times Now
Aditya Mehta foundation
Aditya Mehta continued his pursuit for sporting achievements. But, he had another goal in mind. He wanted to do something for the larger community of handicapped people. He set up Aditya Mehta foundation. His aim is to support para-sportsmen.
Aditya Mehta has fought an amputated leg, personal trauma, his own devils and has come out with flying colours. He is not someone who appeals for a better treatment. A dignified treatment is his right and he shall have it. He is more concerned about other people grappling with bad behavior of others. He has vowed to fight for them.
“This isn’t a plea because we have pleaded before with no luck. This is a challenge to your oppressive system,” he wrote in his Facebook post.