Meet this 23 year old IIM student who lost both his hands in childhood but is still winning at life! | Kshitiz Aneja
Sometimes, life has a way of throwing you off course. You think you have it all planned out and bam! Along comes a thing that completely sets you off course. But then, there can be nothing as shocking or as devastating as losing your limbs – a part of your body – to an accident and knowing there will be no turning back and that your life has changed forever. For Kshitiz Aneja, life changed at the young age of 9. He met with an accident post which, both his hands had to be amputated from the elbows down. But then, the boy did not give up. He continued to fight all adversities and emerge victorious, despite the disability.
Life After incident
After his horrific ordeal, he got back to school the very next year. Like all kids, he too was ragged and teased but then, with the support from his family and his few true friends, he managed to cope up and sustain in the school. He worked hard and soon went on to even beat his classmates and take up all the hobbies of his choice, did not let his disability affect him in anyway. With guidance and support, he went on to score 86 percent in Class 10 and 91 percent in 12th Standard! However, the main question for him rose after completing his schooling. Should he stay safe and protected with people he knows or should he take a chance?
He decided to move out of his sheltered life with his parents for the first time and decided to go and live alone in Delhi. Born and brought up in Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh, it was a big move but he was determined to make the most of it and win it. He stayed for 3 months in Delhi and after he felt it was alright, he decided to pursue further education in Delhi itself. After finishing his graduation in Delhi, the next move was further away – to Bengaluru. Even his family is now convinced that he can make do on his own and is strong enough to tackle any adversity that might arise. Supporting him through his wishes, his parents have now sent him to IIM Bengaluru where he is making them proud.
For Kshitiz, his disability is not a hindrance but that gives him a chance to innovate. He wishes to set up an NGO for the disabled and improve their condition in the country. His dream is also to travel all over the world and see the countries that have better facilities for the disabled. he has read extensively about these and is now curious to explore these regions and find out for himself. For Kshitiz, the sky is the limit and absolutely nothing can stop him from achieving his dreams – atleast not his disability.
In talks with Kshitij Aneja:
Would you mind telling us what actually happened in that accident that took your hands away?
I was about 9-10 years old when I lost my hands. And just like every other kid in the locality, I was also fond of kites. It was one such day when I was flying kites with two of my friends. One of the kites got stuck in the high power cable passing through my terrace. I took the iron rod kept there to tried to get that kite. And that’s how it basically happened. I just remember glimpse of me getting transferred from one ambulance to another. When I gained consciousness, then I realized that I have lost both my forelimbs.
How difficult it was for you to be in the world after this incident?
It was all like basically starting your life afresh. Unlearning and relearning the new ways of doing things. Whether it was writing or driving my bicycle, I had to do it differently because things were not the same. I believe this realization made me more acceptable to my condition and probe me to look things very differently. Definitely there were difficulties, but nothing seems impossible with such supportive parents.
What difficulties did you face? Were the around you supportive? In what way?
I faced difficulties in each and every activity of daily routine. Imagine yourself not using any of your forelimbs to do any work. I never liked being supported by people or being dependent on anyone. That was the reason driving me to be like any other kid of my age and do all those activities that they were doing then. People always show mercy on people like me. It was same then and it is the same now. I don’t understand whether it’s bad or not. Because they are concerned and kind hearted, that is why they show mercy. But somethings do hurt like the pity face they make or without even building any relationship, coming and asking me of my accident. I want them to like the bright side of what I have achieved and what I am now rather than showing mercy or pity.
How did you passion for studying and driving continued after that incident?
As I mentioned, it was not just restricted to studying or driving. I wanted to be as every other kid of my age. Not to be treated differently or specially. Yeah I used to face some problems in doing so but I never shy out from asking help. One thing that I feel good about is that I am aware of my limitations and specialities. In studying, I think I have done enough but learning shall always continue. In driving it’s still a long way to go which will start with me getting a driving license.
Doing B.com Hons. from SRCC and Cracking IIM BANGALORE, how everything turned out for you? Who were they continuous motivators throughout?
I feel extremely lucky to have studied in the best colleges – SRCC AND IIMB. They are not mere degrees for me, they changed me and made me the person that I am today. Challenges were there at every step but overcoming them was a beautiful experience all together. From being completely dependent on my parents to living independently since last 5 years, that is how I see my journey in SRCC and IIMB.
Tell us something about your documentary “Necessity is the mother of all invention”. What is it all about?
Title of my documentary itself says a lot about what it’s gonna be like. So the activities that I do in my daily life are a result of gradual evolution, also termed as my inventions. They all came about not because I was searching for new ways of doing things but because I needed to do things differently, also termed as necessity. It will also contain some do’s and don’ts around differently abled person and also shed some lights on how much change is required in our current scenario to be fully inclusive to everyone.
Kshitiz, in one of your videos you said “I am what I am” … what kind of positivity did you get from life to accomplish so much goals in life?
I have noted down three stages that are required for you to be a better person. 1st stage is ignorance, I define it as not accepting who you truly are. 2nd stage is acceptance which I think I am in. I know what I am, what all things I am good at and what all things I am bad at. 3rd stage is action oriented where you try to work on your strengths and weaknesses. I am a big time optimist. Even in worst situation, I try to find some good in it. I don’t know how it was inherited in me but I am glad to be this way. It work really well for me in living a happy life. Live your life in a way that makes you happy and make sure you don’t regret it.
What message do you want to want to convey to your peers?
Advice for other differently abled – never give up. nothing is impossible and for all game of thrones fan remember what tyrion said “never forget who you are. Because the world never will. ”
For others – always be kind hearted and behave normally with people like me. At the same time understand what kind of difficulties other person is facing , be considerate but do not show pity. offer to help but don’t force it.
Hope you like it and I will be able to bring some hope in others life. Thanks for the opportunity.