Divyanshu Ganatra Psychologist & IT expert
Divyanshu lost his eyesight due to glaucoma at the age of 19. But now at 38, he is an IT expert, a psychologist, an adventure sports enthusiast, an avid mountain climber and India’s first sight-impaired solo paraglider. In addition, he has co-created ‘Adventures Beyond Barriers’ — a non-profit body which organises sports events for able-bodied and disabled community together. He is also the brain behind ‘Yellow Brick Road’, an organisation that provides individual, educational and corporate solutions through psychology and counselling.
Q- Tell us something about Yellow Brick Road.
Yellow Brick Road was established in 2006 with a primary focus of bringing cutting-edge solutions to visually impaired people so that they can enjoy life. We work with the community to improve personal and professional spheres and also to bring positive change. It’s been a decade now and all I can say is the journey was incredible with amazing transformation stories coming out.
Q- What was your inspiration behind Adventures Beyond Barriers?
I love adventure sports. I think sports have the potential to change the stereotypes about disabled people in the society. For instance, when you see hundreds of people flying or doing adventure sports together, you will be convinced that they are not any different and it will help to break the stereotype the society has already set.
Q- From being a psychologist, to corporate trainer, to India’s first sight-impaired paraglider, what is next on your bucket list?
In August this year, I went on a 550-km trail from Manali to Khardung La for eight days with tandem bikes. A team of five people supported me in the task. Also, in August 2017, we are setting out to do tandem cycling to the same place, but this time we are taking along 30 visually impaired cyclists.
Q- How did you overcome your disability to go ahead and pursue your dreams?
One doesn’t need to overcome disability. The challenge is lack of content. For instance, disability cannot come between the person and education but lack of proper schools and infrastructures can. For this, I don’t blame the society; it is because of ignorance and the attitude towards disabled people. If you grow, work and play together you will realise that you know very little about the community. I think my blindness is my biggest gift. There were 100 things the society told me I can’t do, but I never gave up.
Q- What is your life’s mantra?
I don’t have any mantra as such. But I think ‘Live life to the fullest’ is the mantra we all should follow.
Q- What would be your advice to the people reading this?
I don’t give any advice to anyone. But if I had to give any advice to the society, it would be ‘Do what you want’ as half of the world is stuck. To know more, check: adventuresbeyondbarriers.com and yellowbrickroad.co.in