The accident and learning to live as an amputee
My name is Ritesh Vaigankar. The 23rd of October 2003, was the day that completely changed my life. I was electrocuted with a high tension power transmission line, I do not remember much of that day, at the hospital when I came to my senses, 70% of my body was burned. What happened to me? Why did this happen to me? Those questions are still unanswered today.
After 3 years of hospitalization, I went through more than 10 operations including the amputation of my right leg. Before the amputation, my dad didn't tell me, he didn't find the words to explain it to me. I have always been able (with the help of God and support from family and friends) to maintain a positive “can do” attitude. The changes were challenging to get used to as I needed assistance with almost everything I was able to do so freely before the accident. I spent months prior learning to walk with the new prosthetic leg.
Overcoming the obstacles
I decided to complete my school. I was afraid of my own scars, trying to hide them with long sleeves, thinking what will people say or how would they react to my situation. I'd say I am a blessed person at least when it comes to my friends, in school, college, my work-life... I have many friends. After the accident ...I could never imagine going out and traveling places, going on trips...not even in Goa where I am from. but I traveled to Rajasthan with my friends, and that was one of the turning points where I understood I have wings, so being one leg short is a no problem.
I try to maintain a very active lifestyle, and from time to time experience issues with my prosthesis. The prosthetic leg kept cracking and breaking, but that didn’t stop me. I fixed the leg sometimes at home on my own. You should see my old leg I wore for the first 15 years, it knows all the stories. ....After completing my engineering school I got selected by a German MNC Siemens ltd. I wanted to do everything independently, slowly learned to ride a bike and bought one. Now I am a teacher by profession, teaching young minds to develop their skills and be self-dependent. 'I just want to be able to inspire as many people as I can and give them hope. I had no hope for my future, during my bedridden days. I was going through depression, and just thinking and crying ....asking myself....why me??
Now I want to help people going through similar things.
What I am up to now
I got inspiration from other special people like me, saw them inspiring many others. Then decided that even if in a group of 1000 people if I could inspire one... I have succeeded. Now I am so grateful I am alive and loving life and I just want to be able to tell people that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Just have the will to pass the darkness. Always say to yourself, "yes I can do it, and I will do it"