First Indian bilateral amputee to be issued a permanent driving license | Vikram Agnihotri

Updated: Jun 10

Life imposed a big challenge on Vikram at the age of 7 when he met with an electrical accident, which led to amputation of both his upper limbs. But his family and he met this challenge with great courage. He has not only overcome the physical challenge but also gone-on to achieving many remarkable feats, like writing with foot, operating the laptop, shaving, swimming, to name a very few. His zest for life has inspired many and has reinforced the power of the human spirit in peoples mind.

Vikram has the distinction of being the first Indian bilateral amputee to be issued a permanent driving license for driving a 4-wheeler, a feat worthy of an entry in the Limca Book of Records 2017-2018 edition. He had to struggle for 2 years to overcome the apathy and ignorance towards the needs of the differently abled people before the administration finally succumbed to his demand.

He has not only got himself the licence but also initiated an amendment in the Motor Vehicle Act, opening the door for millions of differently abled Indian aspiring for a driving licence. Vikram has been personally responsible in getting several people, across the country, a permanent driving licence.

Vikrams’ passion for driving is evident from the fact that he is currently a professional car rally driver after recently winning the Ist position in Car Amateurs category in the FMSCI Malwa Adventure 2017. Subsequently he has participated in three motor sport events including the iconic Desert Storm 2018. Vikram bagged the 2nd Runners-up podium in the X-plore Professional category in the Desert Storm and quite literally stormed once again into the history books, as the first differently abled person to win a podium position, driving with his feet, in a national car rally.

To add to his tally of podium finishes, Vikram secured the 2nd Runners-up in the Malwa Sprint 2019 in the Amateur Stock below 1100cc category and Malwa Adventure 2019. To add another feather to his cap, Vikram was awarded the trophy for 3rd position in the NATDRAG 1.0 at the Speed Unlimited event held at the NATRAX circuit in April 2022. This has taken his total podium tally to 5 out of 7 events.

Vikram has done his school graduation from Bonn American High School, Bonn, West Germany, in 1985 at the age of 15 yrs. only. He was awarded the Presidential Academic Fitness Award personally signed by the then US President Mr. Ronald Reagan for academic excellence. He is a graduate in Commerce (1st Div.) & post-graduate in Economics, from Indore Christian College, Indore.

He had twice received the call letter from the prestigious IIM Ahmedabad after clearing the challenging CAT written test, but unfortunately couldn’t secure admission the MBA programme. Vikram feels that there is no age bar for learning and as long as you, keep educating yourself, you will remain young. In 2014, at the age of 44, he enrolled for the LLB Hons. programme and successfully concluded the same in July 2017. Vikram is currently working on his PHD thesis on the subject of disability.

Vikram has a truly entrepreneurial spirit and has had the experience of running several business enterprises. He has owned and managed a Non-banking finance company, a knitwear stitching factory producing export quality knitwear and an Ingot casting mini steel plant. He is the proprietor of M/s Agni Gas Agency, a H.P.C.L. LPG distributorship.

Vikram has been elected twice to the post of Member Managing Committee of the prestigious Yeshwant Club, Indore. The first time he was elected with a record number of votes, highest ever in the history of the club. Vikram is very passionate about playing football and has represented Bonn American High School and Yeshwant Club in football. He has been the Convener YC Football Sub-Committee on several occasions. Vikram is also an adept swimmer and enjoys working-out in the gym. He is also a keen aero-modeller (flying radio controlled planes).

With the intention of spreading the message of hope and courage, he has established a non-profit organization called Vital Spark Welfare Society. Under the banner of WiL – Winners in Life, he has conducted several motivational training programmes and lectures. “Wil Talk” is now a highly successful platform for talks on various relevant topics.

His motto is very simple, NEVER-GIVE-UP and LIVE LIFE TO THE MAXIMUM. Vikram is the Malwa Prant Jt. Secretary as well the Chairman of Indore district of SAKSHAM (SAMDRISHTI, SHAMTA VIKAS AND ANUSANDHAN MANDAL), a non-government organization, working for the welfare of Divyangjan (Disabled) with the ideals of service and advocacy. He is also Founding Member, SAKSHAM Madhya Pradesh (SAMDRISTHI SHAMTA VIKAS EVAM ANUSANDHAN MANDAL).

Vikram has also been appointed to the Zonal Coordination Committee, Central Zone II of the Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI), New Delhi, the Indore District Advisory Committee on the implementation of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act (RPWD Act), 2016 and District Monitoring Committee on Accessible Election (DMCAE), Member, Madhya Pradesh State Advisory Board, Social Justice and Disabled Welfare Department.

Vikram is the recipient of the National Gaurav Award 2017, National Excellence Awards 2017, Dr. Batra’s People’s Choice Award 2018, Malwa Ratna Award 2019, Rotary Institute Dare 2 Dream Award 2019, AIM Foundation Shourya Award 2020 and Cavinkare Ability Mastery Award 2021 in recognition of his services.

Vikram has never let the circumstances or situation get the better of him. He has overcome many challenges by sheer determination and hard work and he continues to be a role model for the entire society. Lessons life taught him to become what he is today, now pave way for others to learn from him. Interacting with him is a life time experience.

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