CHENNAI: In a world where fate is blamed for failure, Siddharth Jayakumar is an exception — he turned his disability into courage and that made him all that he is today. CE catches up with the author who talks about the purpose behind writing a book, Simply Being Sidds and more...
“Our late President APJ Abdul Kalam wanted me to write a book. He used to quote me in his speeches and always treated me like a friend. One day he asked me why I haven't written a book,” recalls Siddharth.
And that's what he did...he wrote a book, along with his colleague Umashree Reghunath, which describes his life experiences where he challenged social taboos to climb up in life. “We deal with social stigma on a daily basis. I wanted my story out there so that it will be an inspiration for more people like me. It will give them courage to face the world,”says Siddharth.
Thanks to his willpower and support from family, friends and colleagues, he became a senior bank manager at IndusInd bank. “Getting a job was not easy for me. It was after many rejections that I became successful through a disability job fair. Despite having good academic records, many people didn't even have the courtesy to let me speak because of the way I looked!” he adds.
Siddharth wants a world where person with disabilities are allowed to contribute significantly to the society. “If I can lead a normal family life, then so can everyone else. I don't want sympathy, I just want to be seen for what I am...equality and accessibility for all is important,” he shares. “My biggest dream is to make this book reach at least a million people, because that's what Kalam sir wanted...to inspire a million.”
He was born without a disability but developed jaundice after just three days of birth. Delayed treatment caused cerebral palsy.
Siddharth Jayakumar’s book is available on Amazon.in