Achievers: Beating the Odds

John Bramblitt is an American painter whose work features bright arrays of colour and classical American iconography. He went blind over a decade ago due to complications from epilepsy, but that hasn’t stopped him from making art and being an inspirational figure for disabled rights in his home state of Texas.

These Indians with disabilities prove that it is just a state of mind. Learn about amazing people who have not let their disability hold them back them in any way. From performing in international arenas to bagging gold medals in sports events, there is nothing these champions cannot do! They have made us so proud.

“Disability is a state of mind”

Here are Indians who have proved this statement right by excelling in various fields in spite of their disability and who inspire us in so many ways every day

Human Library Organization
Nørre Alle 7, Dk-2200 Copenhagen, Denmark
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Publish people as open books

In The Human Library, you can borrow a person instead of a book to listen to their life story for 30 minutes. The goal is to fight against prejudice.

Every person has a title: unemployed, refugee, bipolar, etc. - but when you hear their story, you realize how much you shouldn't "judge a book by its cover".

This project is active in over 50 countries including India.


"I am not angry about my situation. I don’t even get angry with cab drivers that refuse to pick me up because of my guide dog. But I think it important to give people a chance to understand what life looks like through my eyes"

Human Library

The Human Library Organisation is a registered international not for profit with our administrative headquarters located in Copenhagen, Denmark. The secretariat is open on all weekdays daily from 10 am to 4 pm and can be reached via phone or email.

The HLO is dedicated to ensuring a global implementation of the Human Library as a learning platform. We are at current operational on six continents and we host or are involved in activities in more than 80 countries. We also have the privilege of working with some of the larger brands in the world. Helping them with their diversity and inclusion efforts.

Human Library has chapters at several places in India including Hyderabad, New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Pune, and Indore.

The Origin

The Human Library or “Menneskebiblioteket” as it is called in Danish, was created in Copenhagen in the spring of 2000 by Ronni Abergel and his brother Dany and colleagues Asma Mouna and Christoffer Erichsen.

The original event was open eight hours a day for four days straight and featured over fifty different titles. The broad selection of books provided readers with ample choice to challenge their stereotypes and so more than a thousand readers took advantage leaving books, librarians, organisers and readers stunned at the reception and impact of the Human Library.

The Goals

  • What is the Human Library

The Human Library® is a global innovative and hands-on learning platform. We are embedded in high school to higher learning, medical training to civic engagement to better our understanding of diversity in order to help create more inclusive and cohesive communities across cultural, religious, social and ethnic differences.

  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Training

The Human Library offers diversity, equity and inclusion training for companies that wish to better incorporate social understanding within their workforce, as well as grow their cultural awareness for deeper partnerships with clients.

  • Safe Framework

In our education visit, the Human Library works to create a safe framework for personal conversations that can help to challenge prejudice, get aim to help rid discrimination, prevent conflicts and contribute to greater human cohesion across social, religious and ethnic divisions.

  • Dialogue

We meet our goals by creating a special dialogue room, where taboo topics can be discussed openly and without condemnation. A place where people who would otherwise never talk find room for conversation.

Human Library in India in the News

The Light Within: A Different Vision of Life

Sipra Das' photo book The Light Within: A different vision of life is the culmination of a 12-year-long project. When the photojournalist decided to make a book that would capture the lives of the visually impaired, she did not want it to inspire the usual blend of sympathy and pity. She wanted it to evoke a sense of awe and empathy at how beautifully the visually impaired are integrated into society, how diverse their worlds are and the amazing things they achieve.

Erik Weihenmayer

Erik Weihenmayer (September 23, 1968) is an American athlete, adventurer, author, activist and motivational speaker. He is the first blind person to reach the summit of Mount Everest, on May 25, 2001

Pranjal Patil

Pranjal Patil, the first visually challenged woman IAS officer in the country, recently took over as Sub-Collector of Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala in October 2019. Despite being visually impaired, she never gave up on her dreams and battled great odds in her life to become an IAS officer and achieved success.

Ankur Dhama

Ankur Dhama, who has been consistently winning medals for the country in Para Championships all over the world. A student of Delhi’s St Stephen’s college, Dhama competes in Track 11 category for the completely blind and, though he has no use for them, he sometimes wears a snazzy pair of glasses as a style statement. He’s become a lot faster since then – at the Para Games competitions at Malaysia (two golds in 800m and 1500m), Dubai (silver in 800m and bronze in 1500m) and Sharjah (gold in 1500m and bronze in 800m). The medal at the 2014 Para Asian games fetched him bronze and silver medals respectively. In 2013, he also represented India at the Thailand Football Championship in Bangkok.. Ankur Dhama was the first person ever to score a goal for India in an international football tournament for the blind

Ravindra Jain

Ravindra Jain is an Indian music composer, lyricist and playback singer. He started his career in the early 1970s, composing for hit movies such as Chor Machaye Shor (1974), Geet Gaata Chal (1975), Chitchor (1976) and Ankhiyon Ke Jharokhon Se (1978). He composed music for many films and TV shows based on Hindu epics, including Ramanand Sagar's Ramayan (1987).[3] He was awarded the Padma Shri, the fourth-highest civilian award of the Republic of India in 2015 for his contribution to arts.

Srikanth Bolla

Srikanth Bolla is an Indian industrialist and the founder of Bollant Industries. He is the first international blind student in Brain and Cognitive Science and Business at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The blind CEO who built Bollant Industries , an INR 50 crore company which provides employment for 450, the poorest of the poor who sets his eyes on changing lives.

Born into a farmers family in Andhra Pradesh state in 1992 ,life has been one long struggle for him ,whose ambition is as per Bolla “ I was made blind by the perception of the people.

Nikel Dalal

India’s Nikel Dalal becomes the first-ever blind athlete to finish Ironman 70.3 Triathlon race in Dubai. The race compiles 1.9 km of swimming, followed by 90 km biking and 21 km running all at one stretch. The target was to finish the race under 8 hrs 30 mins. Dalal achieved the feat with the help of his sighted ally Arham Shaikh. Dalal is a professional speech therapist and a state-level swimmer. His indomitable courage led him to participate in several sea swimming competitions. And he took up cycling just last year. He lost his eye-sight five years ago owing to glaucoma but it didn’t take a toll on his spirit. Dalal was determined to complete the race and that’s why he approached PowerPeaks, which was already preparing a team of 15 athletes for Dubai Ironman.

Shekar Naik


Shekar Naik is a perfect example of someone who has converted a disability into an opportunity. With his strong will power and dedication, he became a T20 Blind Cricket World Champion and has 32 centuries to his name. After a lot of financial and social troubles, Naik has emerged as a winner and we salute his spirit.

He was an Indian cricketer with blindness and a former captain of the India national blind cricket team. He captained India to victories at the T20 Blind Cricket World Cup in 2012 and Blind Cricket World Cup in 2014. In 2017, the Government of India awarded Naik with Padma Shri. He was a Right-handed batsman and also a wicket-keeper.

Beno Zephine

Beno Zephine is 25 and she made history when she became India's first 100 per cent visually challenged person to be inducted into the country's elite Indian Foreign Service (IFS).

She secured 343rd rank in the 2013-14 Civil Service examination, but had to wait for a year for her appointment, as the government worked out the rules to accommodate her. Smiling, confident, with strong views on everything, expressed in a strong voice, Beno Zephine is a probationary officer with the State Bank of India currently.