Disability is not an inability is once again proved by the multi-faceted wheelchair warrior Sai Kaustuv Dasgupta, the winner of All India #WheelchairWanderlust Competition and CAVINKARE ABILITY MASTERY AWARD 2017. He is a self-taught Graphic Designer, a Singer & Composer, the author of ‘My Life, My Love, My Dear Swami’ a book that has been translated into several Indian languages & a Motivational Speaker who has inspired millions worldwide through his natural smile.
You will be stunned to know that he is an 80% differently abled person, suffering from a very rare Brittle Bone Disease called Osteogenesis Imperfecta and has already endured more than 50 fractures since his childhood. He is fully immobile and confined to an electric wheelchair. He could not move an inch too on his own, but his positivity is moving around and touching many hearts. He is dependent on his parents to perform all regular activities, but his mind is independent to fly high. He has a hearing disability too. Hearing aid helps him to listen properly. In spite of all such obstacles and difficulties, he became a global icon today through his tremendous self-confidence.
Sai Kaustuv originally hails from North Bengal and is a native of a beautiful place called Siliguri. The natural essence of this place helped a lot to create a beautiful nature of Sai Kaustuv. Currently, he is residing in Puttaparthi, Andhra Pradesh with his family. He has received the Dishari Award for the Best Child Singer of West Bengal, India in the year 1999-2000. He was fortunate to receive many opportunities to sing in the presence of legendary singers like Manna Dey, Anuradha Poudwal, Anup Jalota and Rashid Khan to name a few.
Inspired by his Guru, he has composed more than 150 bhajans and devotional songs to-date. He received training in Hindustani classical music from his mother, Shila Dasgupta (Bachelors in Music from Allahabad) from his childhood and later Smt. Kumudini Mundkur (Bhendi Bazar Gharana) taught him further lessons of music. He had released two audio cassettes in his childhood namely ‘Maa’ & ‘Arghyo’ and has recently released a video album and two MP3 audio albums titled ‘Sai Sangeeta Sudha,’ ‘Jaya Vijayee Bhava’ & ‘Sai’s Heart Beats’ respectively.
From many tragic incidents, he has realized the beauty of pain as it comes with a surprise of joy in the next moment. Life has given him a lesson to improve as an individual and as a true human being. Though he is confined to limitations, he has come to know about his ultimate qualities and the purpose of life. He says, “We all have so many qualities, but we have to recognize them and utilize them at the appropriate time and manner. If we could do that once, we’ll be successful forever. Then our abilities will start creating history.” Indeed, Sai Kaustuv’s super abilities have defeated his disease and awakened an unbreakable spirit.
Throughout his life, the main supports were his parents, Kaushik Dasgupta and Shila Dasgupta. They are just like living angels for him. From morning to night they assist Kaustuv in each and everything. In all his success they are the main pillars. Apart from them his younger brother Kushal too is playing a great role. Being an ideal brother, Kushal always encourages him to win over situations when life poses with no options.
It has been a long journey for Sai Kaustuv from the green paddy fields and tea gardens of North Bengal to the fertile Chitravati valley surrounded by the barren hills of South Andhra Pradesh. His journey has been full of ordeals and struggles, but it was worthwhile, for he learned the real purpose of living. His life became meaningful. He had learned to differentiate between the trivial and the real, between the instrument and the composer and between the temporary and permanent.
He is working on accessibility, and he hopes to bring awareness to transform India into an accessible country. He does designs with just two fingers of his left hand, but thousands of hands are getting benefit from his inspiring designs and motivational talks. Sai Kaustuv is celebrating his life to the fullest in spite of various hurdles. In his words, ‘Life is full of challenges, but joy is also there to help one to face them courageously.’ He might be in an Electric wheelchair today, but he has destroyed all the barriers and soars high on the wings of self-confidence, courage, will power and determination. He turned his disability into his greatest gift.