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Mine is not a story of survival, but a story of guts, grit and gumption to dream and succeed. 

It’s a story of how a fighting spirit and a supportive personal and professional network can turn a challenging adversity into the most rewarding opportunity.

Choosing to shape my own destiny

It was the summer of 2002. All of 15 years old, I was still soaking in the glory of a divine dive into the lake earlier in the day, when my father called out for me from the other end of the paddy field. Every day after school, I helped him harvest rice in our native village of Kanakapura, near Bengaluru.

As I walked toward him, I was bitten by a snake on my right leg—and I later lost my leg because of the poison that spread through.

Throughout the next year, I underwent multiple dialyses to eliminate the poison and traditional treatments to revive my leg. While my parents prayed for a miracle, I spent most of my time indoors, low on self-esteem and agonizing over what I might lose.

I was tired and ready to move on. So, I asked my brother to accompany me to a hospital, where my leg was amputated. After receiving my new prosthetic leg, my first few steps were unsteady and painful, but I had to keep a brave face and keep walking.

From there on, I had two choices: I could let life carve out a path for me, or I could make my own choices and shape my own destiny. Because I didn’t want to merely survive; I wanted to succeed and thrive. And to succeed, I had to first overcome a big barrier: social anxiety.

Finding the missing piece

Life changed when I moved to Bengaluru in 2008. I started to visit Mobility India, a training center for persons with disabilities, where I saw so many happy and energetic people across all age groups living their lives despite their disabilities. Our interactions instilled new confidence in me to run at my own pace, my way.

In 2011, I completed my master’s degree in social work from Bangalore University. I went on to serve local nonprofits that provide support and aid to HIV-positive people, persons with disabilities and others.

Today, I am a recruiter in the Accenture office in India. My day involves interacting with both candidates and hiring managers. I am proud that I make a difference by not only helping identify the right candidates, but also by empowering candidates to create a better future for themselves.

Convincing a candidate of what’s great about Accenture comes very easy to me. People are friendly and are the best and brightest in the industry, the work is challenging, and there are immeasurable opportunities to learn, innovate and grow.

Can’t stop, won’t stop!

Beyond my work successes, I have completed seven local marathons and have already set my eyes on the next one—the second edition of the Accenture Empower Run. I am also a member of the Karnataka Wheelchair Cricket team and am pursuing my PhD at the department of social work from the University of Mysore.

My strength is my amazing support system—my family, my friends and colleagues—who have accepted me for who I am and stood by me at each step of my journey.

It can sometimes seem that life can be unpredictable and unfair. But we can turn every adversity into an opportunity through our indomitable spirit.

Remember, failures don’t mean defeat, and making a comeback is never impossible.

I’m proud to be part of an organization that is changing the game for our persons with disabilities through a culture of accessibility. With the right tools, technologies and training programs, I’m motivated to come to work, be myself and give my best, every single day.

Join a team where you can truly be yourself and make a difference.

 

Copyright © 2019 Accenture. All rights reserved. Accenture, its logo, and New Applied Now are trademarks of Accenture.

Rajesh Gowda

Recruiting Analyst, Bengaluru, India

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