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Saswat Kumar Swain photo
Saswat Kumar Swain
Associate Manager, Accenture Advanced Technology Centers in India
May 31, 2018

Me, Myself & O.I.: Running Between the Wickets in a Wheelchair

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The scoreboard read: “4 runs off 1 ball.” I wiped the sweat from my forehead, gripped the bat as tightly as I could, took a deep breath and slammed the ball straight down the alley.

Thrilled and jubilant, my friends ran toward me, lifted me up and carried me on their shoulders to celebrate our little win. The excitement was palpable. We were playing gully cricket one last time outside my beautiful Bhubaneshwar, India—home before we went our separate ways to pursue our professional dreams.

From the backyard of my house to the corridors of my Accenture office in Bengaluru, life for me has been like running between the wickets—in a wheelchair.

I was born with a collagen deficiency called osteogenesis imperfecta (O.I.), also known as “brittle bone disease,” which makes my bones extremely fragile. My father used to physically carry me everywhere—from my childhood until my initial working days.

See life from a different angle
Today, at 36, I am playing a very fulfilling inning of my life as an associate manager and technology architect with Accenture. Training next-gen architects? Check. Collaborating with global clients? Check. Traveling the world? Check. Acing photography? Check. My 12-year long Accenture journey has been truly unique. And there’s no stopping me now!

The major turning point in my life was my first trip abroad with Accenture, when I was 27. This experience helped me discover myself. While visiting Chicago in the U.S., I saw how independent people were—even while in a wheelchair—and it changed my mindset forever.

Then a friend introduced me to photography. The camera is a fantastic tool that helps you see life from a different angle. Photography is a perfect combination of technology and creativity—just like my work at Accenture.

Yellowstone 

Read between the lines—literally
Currently, my work is allowing me to take part in the revolution of the automotive industry. My team and I are working on innovative technologies such as Microsoft Azure and Sitecore, which enables clients to better serve their customers through new-age digital platforms.

Last year was phenomenal, both on and off the ground. I spent six months in Sweden and then found myself in different Indian cities every two months. And personally, I did a lot of reading between the lines—literally. Palmistry, or palm reading, has intrigued me for a long time. Now, I have some interesting techniques up my sleeve to answer people’s questions about their future.

Be your own hero
Every life situation is different, and we all have our own demons to fight. Be your own hero; be a better version of yourself. When life throws you a curve ball, hit it out of the park!

I am proud to be part of a great culture of inclusion and diversity at Accenture, and the company’s efforts to enable persons with disabilities—at the core of it is respect for people. It inspires me to be myself every day.

Find an opportunity with Accenture, and join a team where you can truly be yourself and do work that makes a difference.


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