My Brief Memoir

Brief Account with Social & Rehabilitation Services

Despite of severe disability in his right leg and left arm, Dr. DP Sharma’s contributions and services to the society and organization working for disables are admirable. Prof. Sharma has been providing for a long time online voluntary support and services to the NGOs working for the education and rehabilitation of the persons with disabilities in India. He has supervised and guided several small self-help group projects, designed by him, under United Nations Voluntary Service programmes.

Prof. Sharma, son of a small farmer, was born on 1st May, 1969 at Samona, a small village situated in Chambal River Ravines (a typically Dacoit infested area) of eastern Rajasthan. He was second youngest amongst 5 brothers and 3 sisters. By birth he was normal and healthy but at the age of 5 yr, he suffered with fever and got paralysed in his left arm and right leg forever due to injection of some medicine given to him. He could not get a proper treatment as the family could not afford it.

In the native village of Prof. Sharma there was only one primary school, therefore, after completion of his primary education he used to travel a long distance of 18 km on rough tracks every day from his village to small town Rajakhera and back to get only middle and secondary level school education. Being a brilliant scholar he topped in the school level classes and got two scholarships: (1) RRMI Merit scholarship from RRMI (Readers Research Modern Institute) Foundation and (2) Disability scholarship from government of Rajasthan. Another challenge to his educational pursuit was unfavourable atmosphere of the family and village. He was 7th among five brothers and three sisters. None of them was even high school pass among five brothers and three sisters. Since the atmosphere of his village and family was unfavourable, it was difficult for him to get higher educational pursuits but due to his strong will power and determinations he could overcome all challenges coming to his way in acquiring higher education. Thus a small amount of the scholarship could make him possible to continue his education. After schooling he continued his degree level education (B.Sc) from Govt. PG College Dhoplur and then he took admission in MCA at University of Rajasthan, Jaipur. After MCA he completed his M.Tech in Information Technology and then PhD in Intranetwares. He received several certifications from world institutions like IBM- USA and won fellowships from Singapore and Germany.

It was 1994 when he met a renowned activist Mr Praven Bahal of Gurgaon, Haryana. He was struggling at national level for the rights of persons with disabilities along with disclosing various scams by NGOs involved in the welfare of persons with disabilities. Prof. Sharma joined his organization named IHWA, later registered with Rajasthan state unit in the new name of Indian Handicapped Welfare Institution (IHWI). Since then he has been consistently providing voluntary services to the persons with disabilities for their education, training, and rehabilitation to settle them well in the society with dignity.

In 1994, Prof. Sharma became the part of a national advocacy campaign which was fighting for new draft of disability ordinance in India. After a long struggle, he got it passed as a new law The Persons with disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Right and full Participation) Act 1995” but unfortunately it was not implemented with sensible mind-sets. In the year 1999, he wrote a letter to the Chief Minister of Rajasthan for the appointment of Commissioner for persons with disabilities under PWDs Act 1995, and warned the government that he would go on hunger strike along with his friend activists if his judicious request is not accepted. After two weeks’ time the Chief Minister’ secretary Mr. C. K. Mathew, IAS, initiated the talks with the delegation to resolve the issues. Consequently Mr. Damodar Thanvi who was a social activist, was appointed as a Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities in the state of Rajasthan for the first time in India. He also fought for Beneficiary Master Card for the disabled people in the state. He organized JAN ADALAT (Public Courts) to listen the day-to-day complaints, challenges, and barriers in the life of disables and plead to government and non-government agencies for their solutions. He forced the government for making provisions for A and B grade services in the government organizations for the disables. He strongly pleaded that when a man with physical disability like heart, lungs and other problems can be elected as the President, Prime Minister, and Ministers in India and abroad like USA then why not the persons with external disability do not deserve? Fortunately his efforts yielded in some relaxations in government jobs at national and state levels but still the problem is not fully solved.

Prof. Sharma also fought with the society and could knock down the barriers of physically challenged people marrying only with the physically challenged girls. He himself set an example in the society by marrying with a normal and qualified girl. Later with the support and blessings of his Father in Laws Shri Jamna Lal Sharma; he initiated to found a Patan Girls College at Keshav Rai Patan, district Bundi Rajasthan-India, and run by his wife Mrs Anurag Sharma, and is dedicated to provide free education to the poor and disabled girls in rural areas. Prof. Sharma has been providing for a long time online voluntary support and services to the NGOs working for the education and rehabilitation of the persons with disabilities in India. He has supervised and guided several small self-help group projects, designed by him, under United Nations Voluntary Service programmes.

Afterwards he support a mission of organizing matrimonial meets to encourage such kinds of even-odd marriages in the society. Every year in the month of July a national matrimonial meet for persons with disabilities at Jaipur is being organized jointly by Mr Manoj Bhardwaj and him under the banner of Nupur Sansthan. He also promoted the manufacturing of assistive tools and development of technologies which make the physically disabled an efficient and dignified manpower for the society. Even today his mission is to create such an environment where disabled people could get the rights of equal opportunities and livelihood with dignity. On several occasions, he takes risks and fought for the judicious rights for persons with disabilities. He fought against corruption in national cricket for persons with disabilities. He exposed scams in cricket and other welfare schemes for persons with disabilities in India.  In his own life he has experienced difficulties that particularly disabled persons face while studying, and therefore, he wants to help them to overcome such challenges. He strongly believes that a career with the support of assistive tools and technologies, such as Information and Communications, can give them better dignified life of social and economic self-sufficiency. His dream is to launch a special education and rehabilitation university in Rajasthan so that the persons with disabilities can be educated, trained, and utilized as a potential and productive human resource in the country. Some of the brief social activities are as follows-

  • Social audit of the Jaipur city buildings to make disabled friendly city [2001 to 2004]
  • Mobilize the accessibility activities at railway stations to provide the wheel chair other support systems for persons with disabilities [ 1999 & 2013]
  • Institutionalized the ideas, support and assistive technologies for persons with disabilities like Text to Speech and Speech to Text systems for Blinds [2008]
  • Developed the Job search engine for Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment government of India for searching jobs based on suitability parameters of  persons with disabilities in [2005]
  • Participated in drafting “The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol (A/RES/61/106)”, which was adopted on 13 December 2006
  • Providing online voluntary support and services to the NGOs working for the education and rehabilitation of persons with disabilities in India & abroad. [ 2004 to till date]
  • Supervised and guided several small self-help group projects, designed by him, under several schemes and supported United Nations Voluntary Service programmes. [ 2009 to till date]
  • Supported Jaipur Cycle Marathon on world heart day and played a leading role in it [ 2013, 2014, 2015]
  • Supported a Courier service by Nupur Sansthan for persons with disabilities and their employment and rehabilitation
  • Supports try cycle race for persons with disabilities every year under the banner of SVS Jaipur
  • Supported to provide free telephone booths to needy disables provided by different telecom companies in Rajasthan like Tatatele services, Airtel and BSNL
  • Planning to establish a Technical University in Jaipur for persons with disabilities