Artist, engineer, sportsperson... but for the world, he’s DISABLED
Chandigarh, December 2 : AABHAS Garg (24) is yet another success story. Or almost. His engineering degree last year from the region’s most coveted engineering college, Punjab Engineering College, alone is a feather in his cap.
Moreover, he has a vast knowledge of computer languages, is a skilled badminton player and has a talent for painting, especially in oils.
But probe a little deeper and his anguish is palpable. The 100 per cent congenitally hearing and speech impaired young man is in the depths of depression. Even the misplaced euphoria created today by a handful of NGOs to mark the World Disability Day failed to stir his silent world.
A pile of degrees and letters from his teachers about his special skills have not been of any use to Aabhas.
The agonising wait of more than a year to find a job opportunity has been so draining that he has now made up his mind to leave for the US for higher education.
‘‘We are tired of circulating his resume, but no one has given him an opportunity to showcase his talent. All I pray for is that he finds a job, whether it pays him or not. Money is not a criterion. He feels agitated when he has to sit idle,’’ says Manjula Garg, his mother, who spent the better part of the last 20 years teaching Aabhas to lip-read.
Aabhas graduated in 2004 with a degree in electronics and electrical communication with 65 per cent marks. He was the only special student in the entire college.
However, to his parents’ dismay, Aabhas’ college offered him nothing more than a degree. The college placement cell — otherwise known for its attractive placements with sky-rocketing packages — gave up on trying to find a job for him. The doors of the government are also closed for him, as the maximum disability accepted there is 75 per cent.
Now he is preparing to get admission in Roechester Institute of Technology, USA, hoping the university exempts him from the speaking test.
‘‘Our boy does not seem to have a future here. There are no jobs despite his education and such children have to face a lot of discrimination,’’ says his father, A K Garg, a deputy manager with the SBI.
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