An unfortunate situation doesn’t always need to lead to an unfortunate life...

Updated: May 5

An unfortunate situation doesn’t always need to lead to an unfortunate life, and nobody embodies this better than Dr. Sai Kaustuv Dasgupta. He suffers from Osteogenesis Imperfecta commonly known as rare Brittle Bone disease.

This has led to more than 50 fractures and critical complications of his condition confined him to a room for 6 years. But his disease could not hinder the pace of his success story and despite a 90% disabled body, he did not let his career be fragile.

Leading a life with a rare disease is not an easy deal. How difficult was it to accept this critical condition? Sai says, “Years after the series of happenings and occurrences that made me who I am, today when I look back, I can hear someone saying, “Miracle happens in your life when you allow it to happen.”

And I guess, not only did I allow it, but I found one too. At three and a half months old, my first fracture appeared. Within a year, I had fractured three more bones. The doctor after having a series of tests explained to my parents that I suffered from Osteogenesis Imperfecta and that they will need to prepare me for life in a wheelchair because my body was not creating the collagen or protein required to develop my bones.

It was not easy for a hyperactive child like me who loved dancing and singing, and I often blamed my falls and broken bones on my clumsiness. I saw that the other children were healthier, so I just thought I needed to pay more attention to my step - until at age ten when I fell and broke both my legs. I never thought I could not stand again.”

“Having a rare Brittle Bone disease and going through more than 50 fractures, it is not so easy to cope up with 3-4 fractures a year. I had numerous fractures to date, but after 50, I have stopped counting as I was feeling my bones are brittle but I will not allow the disease to break my heart. Society, my relatives, and all other people used to define me as a being of suffering as there was no awareness of the situation I was going through.

I had grown up differently but I used to feel a strong urge from within to showcase my ability rather than my disability. When you start including your abilities in your life, you actually create inclusion around you. Inclusion starts from your home and the first step to adopting it is to allow your mind to be open and wide.

Now people call me the Wheelchair Warrior of India. So things are getting changed as I said in the beginning, during those days when I was keenly looking for a miracle I never realized that all along it was not out there, it was in me. That I was the miracle. That perhaps finding my real self is the greatest of all bliss.” Sai added.

Every single day and moment has been challenging in his life. He has been confined to a wheelchair now, and all that functions in one hand and one finger. To put an end to the depression, he struggled his way to becoming an international graphic designer using just one finger of his left hand. He is also a Global Motivational (TEDx) Speaker, India’s first differently-abled Certified Happiness Coach. passionate Singer, Composer, Entrepreneur, Author, Inclusion & Diversity Champion, and Global & Goodwill Ambassador for Family Peace, and runs a virtual platform called Happiness Unlimited.

He has his name in the Limca, India, Asia Book, and 15+ World Records. He is an esteemed figure for the whole disabled community and is titled the 4th Global Icon with leadership traits after Hellen Keller, Stephen Hawking, and Srikanth Bola. He even holds a book in his authorship which has been translated into 10 Indian languages.

He has successfully put his endeavours into spreading motivation and happiness with his mentoring sessions in various institutes like Microsoft, Accenture, Novartis, Marriott Hotels, Medicover, Rotary International, Jain University, and many more across the country and seas apart in nations like US Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Nepal to name a few.

Dr. Sai Kaustuv also got selected for the D-30 Disability Impact List 2021 which honours the most impactful community members and by representing India, he has become a catalyst for continuing to advance disability inclusion, leadership, and diverse representation at the global level. He received the opportunity to contribute his ideas to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) put forward by the United Nations along with other Global Disability Leaders. He has overcome many barriers and crossed a lot of hurdles to teach us what is life and how one can remain happy amidst all odds.

Many people feel that disabled people cannot celebrate their life; they have no right to dream big. But Sai is class apart. He says, “If you have determination, then the sky is the limit. When my parents came to know about my disease, instead of breaking down, they supported me. My father Dr. Kaushik and mother Dr. Shila Dasgupta have both played an important role in my life. They never made me feel as if they are disappointed in me.

They have always been supportive. My younger brother Dr. Kushal also constantly inspires me to achieve new things. I am grateful for all their sacrifices. Not every parent is special in this society, or not every brother or sister understands the stigma of their siblings when they are specially born. So for them, I want to convey that any parents, or a sibling of a special person who is having some special abilities, you know, especially abled people, we should not feel shy or down on what God has given to us.

My parents never asked God why us, they have accepted me as a gift from God and nurtured me, my dreams, and my abilities. I always request everyone, to help us, and support us, love us. We don't need your sympathy. We need your support, love, and empathy to become successful and make you all proud. So always remember, especially special children are the future of this country, our person with disabilities community who also had the ability to make their parents and family proud.”

Dr. Sai has researched accessibility and proposes to make the nation a wheelchair-friendly one. His Virtual Community Happiness Unlimited strives to bring back the purity of heart and genuine happiness in society. “There is a lot to do to make the nation accessible. My activity, actions, to make people inclusive, come out in wheelchair-friendly public places are still continuing, and I definitely would like to form one platform. It will be a universal platform designed for all the people who want to contribute their ideas and their skills.

Happiness Unlimited is now a virtual community, but in the future, if everything works well, maybe that same physical community will manifest, and many people will join this happiness unlimited community to make themselves happy and create a chain of happiness without any condition, without an expectation.” Sai added with a smile.

Various national and international organizations acknowledged his hard work, recognizing all his contributions, made him a celebrity among youth changemakers as his determination to drive the new definition of life presented all the motivation you need. He concludes with confidence, “Yes, people point towards me as specially-abled and I am proud to be recognized in the crowd. Positivity doesn’t need any medium to enhance, it's huge in itself.

My positivity made me today and it gave me the strength to handle my life and its different shades. Yes, am special, specially-abled, and not only unique but in limited edition.” Truly a real-life hero Dr. Sai Kaustuv shows us how there could be a million reasons to lament upon but choosing to accept them as a part of your life is the actual key to happiness and peace.

Enduring difficulties and choosing positivity over all the negative aspects is what makes a person like him iconic.

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