Todays conversation is with Poorna Chandran. An Inspiring person. It is a very interesting story. He communicated with me on Instagram. we always talk about people who have achieved in life, materials basically. We usually measure success by measuring bank balance and the materials we possess. But that is only a small part.
You need courage to live life every day to the fullest. Those who live life like that are real heroes. They all are an inspiration. He had an spinal cord injury at the a e of 21 and now he is 31 years old. It is about his 11 years of journey on his wheelchair. He is an inspiration. We can learn many things by just looking at his way of living. Thats why I invited poorna to the show
Ashwin: Poorna. Thanks for coming
Poorna: I should thank you first for inviting me here. You may get a lot of messages everyday and I am one among them
Ashwin: Poorna, tell us about your journey. How it all happened at the age of 21.
Poorna: I completed my diploma at the age of 21. I did it through an evening college. I used to work in the mornings and attended college from 6 to 9 I completed diploma ni civil engineering and I got selected ° a company ni Guduvancheri. I hardly worked for 15 days there and when I visited my hometown, this incident happened. I tell of from a tree and got injured.
Ashwin: You were normal until the age of 21. After the incident you were not able to walk.
I had a surgery 5 days after the incident and the hospital asked me to go home saying
I will be ok in 3 months. But my parent were not aware of the Rehabilitation procedures. But I was the only one who was affected like this and we did not know what to do.
Ashwin: Basically, You did not have the awareness for rehabilitation back then.
Poorna: The hospital should have advised about the rehabilitation procedures
Ashwin: What did you think back then? It was a very young age and you might have had a lot of dreams about your life.
When you came to know that your life will be on a wheelchair, how did you feel? You need a lot of courage to face such situations. How did you come out of it?
Poorna: I liked to come out of my place and be one among the crowd. But I was afraid of what others might think about my situation. My parents restricted me from going out. I do not have any sensation below my hip and I do not have any control or don’t know how to manage if I want to urinate or defecate.
I always have the essentials by my side in case something unpleasant happens. So I avoided going out and stayed indoors.
Ashwin: After the incident, you were not able to walk as well as had issues with urinating and defecation.
But, how did you come out of the mental block and how did you tackle the situation.
Poorna: I always had a thought of doing something to achieve in life. Due to which we had regular quarrels in our family almost every day. I was kind of depressed due to the pressure. Slowly I got used to social media. I like to read about Vivekananda and Buddha. I self-motivated myself by reading and watching such videos.
Ashwin: You said, you wanted to get back to normal and win in life. What made you say so?
Poorna: We all have one life and we are not sure about what will happen the next second. I don’t want to waste it and I wanted to come out and live life to the fullest.
Ashwin: It’s not just you, but for all those who have had spinal injuries, they should be inspired by you. There are a lot of challenges and you have to wear diapers as you cannot control your nature calls. You said you had to calculate and eat, because only then you will know when you will defecate. How did you get adapted to this lifestyle?
Poorna: Initially I struggled a lot, but after my rehabilitation program, I learned how to lead my life. I also met people who had similar issues and we talked. Only then I had hopes for a better life.
The rehabilitation period was the turning point in my life. It completely changed my views and my approach of life.
Ashwin: In today’s world, people seem to complain a lot for small issues. As a doctor, I understand about your situation. What is that you would like to say to those people who complain for everything and to those who do not know to appreciate the life they have got. I feel proud about you. It’s difficult to live a life like you do. But you still do it.
Poorna: I do not stress myself for issues and take it lightly. I want to quote a saying here. Don’t overthink, let it go.
Ashwin: Well said. Even I will take it from you.
Poorna: We will have to find our solutions. If we keep the problems with us, it is never going to go away. Move on and your problem vanishes.
Ashwin: You did your engineering after your incident. Tell us about the experience?
Poorna: I completed my rehabilitation in 2012. I wanted to pursue my studies, but due to the financial situations I was not able to get back to my studies. My brother and sister helped me to continue my studies. After my rehabilitation, there was a 3 years gap and I started studying engineering at Sathyabama. Only my first semester was tough and the rest all I was able to get high scores.
Ashwin: How was your college experience?
Poorna: It was an amazing experience and since it was a huge institute, there may have been almost 10,000 students.
Ashwin: Tell us about the confidence. Because a lot of people they underestimate and inhibit themselves. Being on a wheelchair and entering such a big college might have brought all the inferiority complexes, but you said you enjoyed it. I really like it.
Poorna: We don’t need to care about what others think. They just pass by. We will have to move on. This applies to our lives too. The first few weeks were tough. I had to do all the work by myself. But I slowly adapted to the new life.
Ashwin: You said you were into Marathons and even in 2019, you did power lifting. You even tried for Paralympics. That’s great that you tried. You also won the silver medal in state power lifting.
Poorna: yes. That’s right. It was my first competition. After which I had a minor fracture and could not continue.
I used to take part in all the marathons conducted in Chennai. Founder Mr. Vaithiyanathan registers my name in all marathons. He helps people like me and wanted to bring them out to the space. He will do the registrations along with accommodations.
Ashwin: From your point of view, what would you want people to accept?
Poorna: I ask people not to block such disabled persons indoors and help them to see the world. This is not any disease. It’s only an accident. Even the able person have so many physical problems and limitations.
Appearance is what others see.
Ashwin: People are physically fit, but have so many mental issues. They are disturbed. It’s not worth at all.
Poorna: All they see is the wheelchair. Please don’t look at us that way.
Ashwin: I really love it. What else would you like to say on this?
Poorna: There should me more awareness about spinal cord injuries and rehabilitation. Even many physiotherapists do not know about it.
Ashwin: Correct. I will also talk about it in another video. But what would you like to say to people for leading a brave, confident and happy life?
Poorna: I really don’t know what to say.
Ashwin: Whatever you say will be right. Because you have crossed this journey of many struggles and difficulties. Anything that you say may be a lesson to learn for all of us.
Poorna: I have two things to say: Acceptance. Try to accept whatever happens to you. Second is to love yourself. Anything is possible and have trust in your courage. Trust your guts. Believe everyone knows everything. If you understand this , you can move on in your life.
Ashwin: Tell me about your marriage life Poorna. It was a beautiful story. Can you share about it?
Poorna|: Yes. Got married in the month of May 2021. It was a love marriage. Since I was jobless, I postponed my relationship with the girl for quite some time. But ever since I came out, I got the confidence and believed that I could lead a life that I wanted.
Ashwin: I have to appreciate your wife too. It might have been a tough decision for her as she has to undergo a lot of struggles, family and so many other things. We really have to appreciate her.
How is she now?
Poorna: She has completed her Nursing course and she is happy about her life.
Ashwin: Very good. We should all learn from you. One needs a good heart to accept a person like you in life. She is a good person and that is why she is with you.
Beautiful. I really appreciate it.
Let’s talk about our stuff now.
I got to know you through Instagram. You used to DM me and post pictures of your workouts, marathon etc. I would say you are an inspiration. Whatever you say, it could be an motivation to others.
What is your motive in life?
Poorna: I want to do something for people who have a similar disability.
Ashwin: personally do you have any wishes in life?
Poorna: Personally, what I feel is, in marriage life, everyone’s viewpoint is that I will not be able to become a father. Due to which they rejected me. Even now, we do not have any contacts with my in laws. My wish is to have a child.
Ashwin: You can adopt a child. There are a lot of children out there who are waiting to be adopted. It is a good option. There is no stigma.
Poorna: We both have the thought. But the awareness towards adoption is also low.
Ashwin: yes. We will talk about it in the future. But adoption will be a good choice. But why are your inlaws not in contact?
Poorna: They all doubt my capabilities. But we both know what we can do.
Ashwin: I like your confidence. But the society does not seem to understand about it. Even if my in laws accept, the society will not let them.
Ashwin: I have met a lot of people and I have never seen a person so happy like you. Even though I am a doctor, I feel bad for you being in a wheelchair. But there are so many people out there who has everything but still don’t have the smile and happiness that you have. They don’t have the clarity that you have. It is a lesson that everyone should learn from you.
If you are not good at heart, only then you are a real disabled person. What do you say about it?
Poorna: Though they have everything, they are not able to express themselves and it is very dangerous.
Ashwin: It’s not worth at all. There is no point in having everything and being depressed and feeling empty. We should be happy for ourselves every day.
Poorna: Struggles are for everyone. Like they said in a movie, the more you focus on a problem, the bigger it is.
Ashwin: Great. I like the way you take life on. I am learning from you. I have my own thoughts, but still I take it from you and the way you approach life. Life has to be lived happily. Take one day at a time. I really appreciate. I like this conversation very much as it is close to my heart.
As a doctor, I have seen many cases where there is a defect by birth. And in your journey, you have been normal for the first 20 years in life and then all of a sudden you are disabled one day is unimaginable. It is a great inspiration for everyone here. You pursued your studies, married now and even now you have travelled alone from Ranipet by bike.
Poorna: Whenever we go to any public place, the toilets are a big issue as it is not accessible for people like us.
Ashwin: We will think about doing something about it in the future.
Poorna: It is not accessible at all except for a few IT sectors.
Ashwin: Sure. We will bring some kind of awareness to it. I’ll do my best to create such kind of awareness to the society. I hope people will understand how capable you are after watching this video.
Poorna: We should try to create more awareness about spinal cord injury and the importance of rehabilitation to the society. There are a lot of centers for addiction. But just using willpower, one can come out of addiction.
Ashwin: Even what you said now is also a lesson. If we are mentally strong, we can come out of any kind of addiction.
Poorna: yes. But there are only a few rehabilitation centers for people like me.
Ashwin: I think this video alone will be a starting point for creating this awareness.
You wanted to meet me. I wanted to ask you why?
Poorna: I have read a lot of motivational books and watched your videos as well. I have been following you since 2013 and I have got messages on WhatsApp about your inspiring posts. I subscribed to your posts and watched them regularly. I got motivated a lot through your videos and wanted to meet you some day in life.
Ashwin: I believe in one thing Poorna. If we have strong thoughts about something, it will happen. I’ll want to say something here. Sometimes, even I need inspiration in life. We are all human beings and we need to help each other and get going in life. I was a bit down for some time and I needed that inspiration. I wanted to give something to people always. I am a giver. I feel bad when I see people in distress. I wanted to bring them up in life. For that one needs some kind of motivation.
Everyone has their struggles. Even you said you did not know there was a rehabilitation for spinal injuries. When people get affected, they think it’s only them who is suffering from such trauma or some sort of issue.
People break down without proper support system. But if we learn to accept and keep going, life will change. I wanted to give answers to each of those people. I have been doing it since 2013 and will be doing it for ever. I was in a state where I needed my dose of inspiration and then you came.
This is special to me. I am a full time doctor. Additional, we need to create products for Instrength. We think a lot about it before reaching to the audience. We all have only 24 hours and there are times when we need some kind of motivation which is what I got today.
Poorna: Thank you so much sir. It’s too big for me.
Ashwin: I learnt a lot today. I got more reasons now to work harder. Though I give energy to many, but when I get low on energy, you boosted me up.
I am just an ordinary doctor who used the opportunities right and my thoughts were straight. I give my 100% to everything I do. Similarly, you have inspired many including me.
This conversation series to special to me. I started this series last year and due to my hectic routine, I could not do it. But this year, I decided to do one conversation a week and I wanted to meet people like you. Everyone who has been in our conversation is inspiring in their own way. I met Aishwarya, a cancer survivor who is a brilliant girl. I learnt courage from here. Then I talked about Harish Kalyan. He is cool and honest person. I wanted to bring the real stories behind each and every such inspiring people who have struggled to come up. It’s not what others see from the outside. Every person whether he is a doctor or a businessman or an entrepreneur or a patient, they all have struggles.
Poorna: Nothing is easy in life. I have had my own struggles and it’s not easy at all.
Ashwin: Well said. The things that come easy in life won’t last long.
Each conversation is a treasure to me. I want people to take the best out of each conversations and make their lives better.That is the motive of this conversation.
How are your parents.
Poorna: They are doing good. It’s because of them, I am here. They have been providing the care and support till day. They fulfill my duties first and then move on to their work. They stay at Gummadathangal, Ranipet.
After the incident, it took me two years to go to the rehabilitation center. But until then they had to look after me to prevent blood sore. Now recently the government has taken initiatives to have a special word for blood sore treatment.
Ashwin: A lot of people have died due to lack of support and care.
Poorna: Yes. Lot of people sleep on the floor since they do not have beds. No financial support.
Ashwin: We need to do something for them. What can do?
Poorna: If we can buy them a bot it would be of great help to them. A lot of people do not have wheelchairs. They sit on the floor. There is no awareness at all.
Ashwin: You said the organization that helped you are doing good things for people. We will ask our team to take a list of such organizations and try to figure out the things needed and we will support them.
The motive of our organization is to provide the needful for spinal cord injured persons. A bed and a cot or a wheelchair is what most need. We have been making such arrangements for some time. There are a few projects going on all over India.
Ill add your instagram handle and links to my Instagram, facebook and youtube channels. Let’s see how we can proceed on this.
People always have the doubt when they are trying to help. They doubt if the contribution is being utilized properly and only for the desired purpose. A lot of scammers are out there. But if it’s a genuine one, we can surely help.
Poorna: Even our founder is also affected by spinal cord injury. He died last year due to covid. He has been doing the needful for all those people who got injured in the spinal cords. Now it is run by two of his friends.
Ashwin: Are you living with your parent?
Poorna: No. After my marriage, I have been living separately. She misses me a lot. She visits me once in a month.
Ashwin: I wanted to meet them too. They have raised a strong child and wanted to talk to them.
The courage the child has within is developed by learning from their parents. If it’s a boy child, then it be from his mom.
Poorna: Nowadays, I travel all alone even in trains. But still she worries a lot when I go out.
Ashwin: Your mother is a very courageous woman and for that reason, I wanted to meet her.
Poorna: Similarly, my brother has supported me financially.
Ashwin: Correct. A lot of problems arise due to money between blood relatives. The society acts in a selfish way. And it is great to hear that your brother helped you.
Poorna: Also, my sisters and their husbands have helped a lot.
Ashwin: it is so beautiful to hear such things poorna. It is so rare to find such valued relationships.
I think I should meet them all together. They all are good hearted people. They all surround you.
Poorna: Maybe that is a plus for me to have such good people around me.
Ashwin: Do you understand how you are being surrounded by good people. Today, wherever you go it is complex, competition and it’s a race and it’s been going on for quite some time. They could have rejected you. But they all helped you and lifted you up.
Poorna. They help me, but they are protective and worry much when I go out.
Ashwin: It is hard to find people like them today. It’s becoming difficult to live together within families nowadays. There is jealousy between relationships. For example, if we both stay in the same place, we might have difference of opinion between us. That should be understood.
Poorna: Those people who are affected by spinal cord injury mostly do not have any kind of support from their families.
Ashwin: Its very heartbreaking to hear such news. I A person known to be died 3 years ago and it had an impact on me. He was also a spinal cord injured person. I had a chance to talk to him one day before his death. I meet a lot of patients every day and I know about them, but not about their family. He was left uncared without food for 15 days even though he had all the relatives with him.
In your instance, your brother and sisters are helping you out of their way in spite of the financial difficulties. But the person whom I knew was wealthy, yet he was left to die. I could not accept it.
Poorna: Even now there are people like them around. Being a male, anyone can care for me. They are not willing to accept.
Ashwin: people do not come forward even if they are able to do it.
Even you said buying a diaper is a costly affair for you. It is a blessing if you are able to urinate and defecate at your will. It in unimaginable to think that you cannot have control over the situation.
Poorna: It is all timing for us. We have to calculate the time even while drinking water.
Aswhin: so the point is, people should care for each other lovingly. It’s of no use to have competition and jealousy. It was very interesting talking to you. Spread love, be kind. Treat people well. Money is not the ultimate thing in life. Money is needed for living. But if we treat fellow people well, money will come to you.
Isn’t it true Poorna. This is what I have learned in my life.
Competiton and jealousy are just a waste of time.
Life passes by just like that and there is no surety.
Each day has to be lived well. Also, keep others around you happy as well.
I think this conversation was useful to you. I am inspired personally after this conversation. Happiness is the ultimate in life and you will find the answers to it soon. I hope each and every conversation that we have here helps you out in some way in your life
It will definitely give you the sparks in life.
Thank you so much for being here.
Poorna: I am really thankful for inviting me here. I am happy that you called me.
Ashwin: I hope this conversation changes the lives of many.
Poorna: You have been helping a lot of people and everyone knows about it. I request you to at least buy a wheelchair for one person in a year. That would be great if you can do it.
Ashwin: Sure. I will do it. You tell me yourself whom I should help and Ill do it.
Ill ask my team to look into it. I will share the link as well and even people will come forward to help out.