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When you are different from others, you experience life differently. That’s a fact. The hardest part is to get people to accept you as someone as capable as any other similarly-skilled or equally qualified person, and not be judged based only on what’s different about you – in my case my inability to walk. It’s something I’ve had to struggle with throughout my childhood. Peers would sometimes ridicule me, and some others - worse - feel sorry for me - unaware of my yearning to simply be accepted holistically – for all that I am – with my abilities and limitations – same as everyone else.

Growing up, my mother was my rock, gently urging me to tackle my challenges head-on and work to overcome them. My parents did all they could to make sure that I got the best education that they could facilitate for me. That changed my life. I worked hard as an engineering student and was one among the top 10 graduates from my university. Sadly, my academic achievements didn’t alter the world’s myopic perspectives about all that I could bring to the table and the value that I could create. I applied for so many jobs and was overlooked. I didn’t give up. I decided to fight harder. I started to pursue my MBA, and then something happened. Infosys came calling.

Infosys focused on my potential. For the first time, I was assessed fairly based on a careful evaluation of my skills and academic qualifications. The company was interested in finding out what I could do, rather than obsessing over what I could not, which was a very welcome experience. They were keen to harness my talents and intellect, and I was, of course, more than willing to put my capabilities to work for the company.

So, I joined Infosys in 2013, as a Quality System Engineer, and today, I’ve grown to be a Quality Assurance Manager. Over the almost-decade-long journey my professional and personal outlook has expanded and with it my confidence too. What Infosys gave me was not just a job, but a platform to prove myself. My struggle with my challenges hitherto proved to be an asset too – tough situations and problems don’t scare me easily. My managers notice this about me and often invite me to work with them on several hard projects that were critical for Infosys. My journey from being constantly doubted to becoming a trusted custodian of clients’ and peers’ most important projects has taken off. Several awards and commendations have come along the way to cement this new status.

In fact, now I find myself helping others too. I have been routinely contributing efforts, with the Infosys CSR team in Pune, to help bring education to underserved kids. I am especially motivated to help differently abled children that I work with to get the same kind of support and opportunities that other youngsters have.

It’s the big and little things too – about Infosys - that makes all the difference for me. A couple of years ago, for example, I was visiting a new Infosys campus and I noticed that there was an entrance there had no accessible ramps for wheelchairs. I called that out. And no surprise, it was remedied almost immediately. That’s Infosys for you. The company always prioritizes people and ensures that they create a great place to work, for all their employees. No matter how different you are, how unique you are, you will always find a place that’s just right for you at Infosys.

Today, I drive my own modified car to work, assemble and disassemble my wheelchair and that gives me immense pride. Infosys helps me to be independent, learn, fail, boldly explore again, and thrive in all the areas that interest me.

I am proud of myself, proud to be able to contribute to Infosys, and proud to be an Infoscion.