“Streams of sweat trickled down my forehead.
I could hear my heart thumping, the blood gushed to my face.
It throbbed like it was going to explode.
I was at my threshold.”
What is adventure? An unusual and exciting, daring experience.
We are what we do. If you want something in life then you don’t wait for someone to help achieve your goal, you get on with it and make it happen.
As homo sapiens I believe we are hard coded to learn, seek newness and explore. We are born natural adventurers. But, as we grow we tend to doubt ourselves, believing that we are incapacitated to do certain things. This self doubt grows into a disability, a mental block that prevents us from pursuing our desires. But, if you have a dream or an idea, don’t let it go, seize it and never give up. Even a disability becomes an insignificant mention if you know what you want and willing to put in the required effort.
Divyanshu Ganatra is one such unstoppable individual who has shattered the stereotypes around disabilities. Despite losing his eyesight to Glaucoma at an early age, today Divyanshu is a clinical psychologist, educationist and researcher.
Over the years he has proved that “disability” is a very relative term and what is more important, is each individual’s attitude and their willingness to go out and explore.
On his journey to self exploration, he also founded the Adventures Beyond Barriers Foundation (ABBF) that solely works toward promoting inclusivity.
This not for profit organization works towards providing outdoor adventure experiences for people with disability. It is also the first organization in India to promote Tandem Cycling (Two or more people cycling on a bike frame that accommodates multiple cyclists).
Here, Divyanshu along with Gagan Grover from ABBF, ventured on a Tandem cycling venture from Manali to Khardung La (which is the highest motorable road in the world standing at 18,380 feet).
This being the first of its kind cycling expedition involving a sighted and a non-sighted member.
A similar adventure is in planning for August 2017. For more details check out this link.
When overland adventures became routine, the ABBF team learned how to scuba dive.
In addition to his academic qualifications, Divyanshu is also India’s first blind paragliding pilot. Here is a snippet of his first flight.
Today Divyanshu Ganatra and his foundation Adventures Beyond Barriers have averted all misconceptions around disability. They have proven that experiencing adventure and the thrill around it, is not for a select few.
If their work inspires you, you can follow them on social media as well.
“All good things are your birthright! You are the creator of you, and the law of attraction is your magnificent tool to create whatever you want in your life.” – The Secret
If you still need to feel inspired, watch the story of Rishi Rana as he juggles between Kayaking as a professional and passionate pursuit.
Author: Shantanu Negi
Engineer, marketer, skipping rope geek, lover boy. When not strategising about our next online onslaught, Shantanu divides his time between anime and desserts.