Lalita Rani is differently-abled, but her sparkling personality is the first thing you notice about her. She talks about her debut as event organiser and host for Inclov, an app for the differently-abled. In her own words:
My name is Lalita; from Delhi. I am physically challenged and I have cerebral palsy and stammering too. Sometime ago, I got to know of the Inclov mobile app, which has been co-founded by Shankar Shrinivas and Kalyani Khona. This app has been created keeping in mind the needs of the handicapped. Through the app, you can meet all kinds of handicapped individuals. You can make new friends and if somebody is looking for a life partner, that can happen too. For people like us, it is difficult to find a partner for marriage, but through Inclov, we can most definitely find someone.
Inclov is not just limited to the mobile app; the team organises events for us. The first one I attended was in September, 2016, where I met the entire Inclov team. Shankar, Kalyani and Gaurav are really friendly. They didn’t let me, or others like me, feel for a minute that we were deficient in any way. The second event I attended was in October, 2016, when I told Gaurav that I, too, wished to volunteer with them. He gave me a positive response and I was able to help out. Many of the people at the event were physically challenged and were all very happy to meet each other. Each person told us something about themselves.
In November, Gaurav informed me that Inclov wished to appoint me as their ambassador, a big achievement for me. I thank the Inclov team from the bottom of my heart for their faith in me, and looking beyond my drawbacks, allowing me to put myself out there, in the public eye. They gave me the confidence that I could do it.
An ambassador’s job is to ensure a good turnout for the event and oversee all the details. Deepak, from the Inclov office, helped me organise the event. Together, we finalised the venue and date. I visited Pacific Mall twice to check if there were adequate facilities for the handicapped to attend. Deepak and I decided to fix the event for November 27, from 3-5 pm. I put in my best efforts and succeeded in getting around 18 people to the event. Deepak was supposed to host the programme, but couldn’t make it at the last minute, because of personal reasons.
Gaurav and Shankar, who were at Pacific Mall, said I would have to host the entire function on my own. “What if people don’t understand what I’m saying?” I asked them.
“We will explain to them but it’s you who has to host it,” they replied. Shankar and Gaurav really motivated me.
We began the event with an introduction and then all of us, one by one, shared a funny incident from our lives. After that, I asked everybody questions one by one. I got positive responses from everyone present. All my friends understood the question carefully and then answered. Each person who came for the event viewed life with a lot of positivity. Everybody was doing some work or the other; one was a national athlete, while another ran a cyber café. They were living their life whole-heartedly, with full spirit and “josh”. They had all achieved milestones in their lives. Seeing them there, nobody could call them handicapped.
The response to the event was extremely good. They all felt that we should have more such events. I happened to invite my school-friend Saurabh Ahuja, who writes wonderful poems, and he read out one of his poems to the audience. (He is not handicapped.) Along with being a writer, Saurabh is also a director. In 2016, his film The Whistle was elected for the IMFF and was awarded the eighth position, for which he received a certificate. He is now shooting his next film The Ladder Between Life and Death.
At the end, Shankar spoke to the audience about Inclov. The Inclov team, and whoever came to attend, gave me the best experience of my life. I am hopeful that Shankar, Gaurav and Deepak will give me such opportunities in future too. I want to remain associated with Inclov and tell everybody about the work they do.
Thank you, Inclov team for believing in me, trusting in me and, most importantly, giving me the best experience of my life.
PS: WHO SAYS WE ARE PHYSICALLY CHALLENGED? IT IS JUST THAT GOD GAVE US DIFFERENT ROLES FROM OTHERS. WE ARE TRYING TO GIVE OUR 101% TO THIS ROLE.
(Translated from Hindi)
Follow Lalita Rani on Twitter @lalita1210