Social activist S Ramakrishnan has been awarded the Padma Shri, India’s fourth highest civilian honour. He was given this honor by President Ram Nath Kovind. He reached the stage to receive the respect in a wheelchair. Ramakrishnan, who hails from Tamil Nadu, was paralyzed after an accident at the age of just 20. But it is said that real life is to fight with accidents, not considering them as destiny. Ramakrishnan never looked back after chanting this mantra in his heart. He is helping rehabilitate people with disabilities through his organization.
S Ramakrishnan, the Messiah of the Disabled, was honored with the Padma Shri, the country’s fourth highest honor, by President Ram Nath Kovind on Monday. Ramakrishnan himself has been on a wheelchair for 44 years but has always been ahead to help the needy. In 1981, Ramakrishnan started the Amar Seva Sangam (ASSA) in Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu. He paid full attention to helping handicapped people living in rural areas.
Ramakrishnan’s organization Amar Seva Sangam is known for its many social works. This includes organizing polio administration camps in villages and integrated schools. Along with normal children, disabled children also study in this school.
The accident gave a new way to make a career
At the age of 20, Ramakrishnan went to Bangalore to pursue a career in the Navy. The year was 1975, Ramakrishnan was a fourth year engineering student. After four days of interviews, on the fifth day, qualifying all the tests were progressing. He was asked to jump 15 feet from a tree. But during the jump he broke his spine. Since then, the part below his neck is paralyzed.
When Ramakrishnan could not get rid of the wheelchair even after months of medical treatment, he decided to go ahead with it. He founded a school on a piece of land gifted to him by his parents. The school started with five handicapped children. In no time Ramakrishnan’s commendable works got recognition across the country. Today around 300 children study in his school.
He received the Dr. Ambedkar Award from former President Pranab Mukherjee in 2017 for Amar Seva Sangam. In the following year 2018, he was also honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award for his work.