The phrase ‘where there’s a will, there’s a way’ best describes cerebral palsy (CP) affected Hiren Kamdar, who will make his Vasai-Virar Mayor’s Marathon debut in the half marathon category on October 27.
Hiren wants to spread awareness about cerebral palsy and urge people to come forward and support his trust — Kamdar Education Trust, which provides free computer education to differently-abled people in Vasai.
“I am not running to create any meet record. My aim of participating in the half marathon is to spread awareness in society about not ill-treating special people like us. I want to show the world that even we can earn a living for ourselves. We do not need any special attention, but love. It hurts when people look down upon us,” the 24-year-old told MiD DAY yesterday.
Here’s his story narrated by his mother Kiran: “Hiren had cerebral palsy since birth. He was born in Gondal in Rajkot district. Since we (my husband Girish and me) wanted to give him a better life, we migrated to Vasai 19 years ago. At the age of four, he started talking.
When he was five he learnt how to sit. As a six-year-old he slowly started to walk. I can never forget those days when people used to ridicule him as a mad man and today people hail him as a hero. I am proud of him as he didn’t let us down and made us proud by opening the Kamdar Education Trust by himself.
“Hiren is God’s gift to us. He is not a burden on us, and it’s because of him that we are recognised in this small locality. He has completed Maharashtra State Certificate in Information Technology (MS-CIT), DTP, Tally and a diploma in web designing. Apart from that, he has a keen interest in cricket and can play chess very well.”
Next on Hiren’s agenda is to generate funds to provide education to as many differently- abled people in the area and make them self-sufficient. “It is my dream that like me, people affected with cerebral palsy earn a livelihood for themselves and do not be a burden on their families,” he said.
Hiren’s sister Palak (16) said she is blessed to have him in her life. “While the whole world ridicules him for being differently-abled, I am very proud of my brother. He is an inspiration to me. He has the willpower and talent that normal people can’t match,” she said.