Govind From Udaipur who Turned his Disability into Strength

In your entire life, did you ever come across a thought that ‘I won’t be able to do it’? If you have, then this article will definitely change your perception towards life.

The story revolves around a boy named Govind Kharol, who is 25-years-old, born in an ordinary family in Udaipur. Like every other kid, Govind was expected to join a school, find a job and spend his life in the human race we all are a part of. But as easy as it sounds to us, as challenging it was for Govind.

He was born with a differently abled body with no right arm and partially developed left arm with just two fingers which is the reason why these ordinary things turned out to be a challenge for him. As he grew up, he realized that he was different which lead him to a struggle to get admission in a regular school. The usual advice that he used to get from the authorities was that he should get admission to a special school where he could get ‘proper attention’. But this wasn’t enough to shake his confidence. And finally, at the age of 5, he got admission in a regular school.

Initially, he was very shy and kept to himself but being good at studies, he turned out to be a dear student to all the teachers.

One day some people from Shikshantar came to his school. Govind became quite fascinated with the way of creative learning they offered blended with interesting games. He then visited Shikshantar and the first question he was asked was “What is your dream? What do you want to be in your life?” The question left him clueless and acted as a turning point in his life as this was the first time when someone asked him a question like this.

Govind’s interest lied in filmmaking. After attending a few filmmaking workshops, he made his first film ‘Sher Ka Zukham’ with the Shikshantar team. His film was highly appreciated which motivated him to continue it as a profession.

In the phase of growing up, Govind faced numerous challenges. After crossing the hurdle of education, he applied for a job. At first, he got selected based on his resume but as soon as the recruiter saw him, the first statement that left his mouth was ‘You won’t be able to do it’. He tried to convince the recruiter to let him try for once, but he was asked to leave. The entire episode shattered him.

He decided to rejoin Shikshantar and pursue his filmmaking venture only to realize that this is what actually makes him happy. He bought his own laptop and a camera from his personal savings and also opened a studio which was a big achievement for him.


The sport that turned his disability into power

Since childhood, he had admired the sport of cycling. He used to see people his age could easily ride a cycle. For several times, the thought to learn bicycling crossed his mind but the question was how would he do it! It made him distressed to know that he couldn’t do a thing as ordinary as riding a bicycle. But somewhere in his mind, it made him more determined to learn it.

In the beginning, he was not able to apply brakes in his cycle and had to use his legs to stop it. He realized that he had to get it modified. He knocked the door of several shops in Udaipur who could help him with the modification. After numerous attempts, one of them modified his bicycle and placed the brakes near the front tyre of the cycle. This made it very easy for him to operate the bicycle and travel great distances without any hurdle. He used to go to distant places with his friends on the bicycle. It made him passionate about the sport.

So much that he went on a journey of 1700 km from Udaipur to Bangalore all alone. It all began is December 2017 when for the first time he was going to travel such a huge distance that too away from his family, his parents. The news of the cycle journey came as a shock to his family and relatives. Everyone resisted him to go on this expedition of his. But on 5th December 2017, just when he was about to leave, his friends and family gathered outside his house to bid him goodbye.

This passion of his’ raised several questions in people’s mind. They used to ask him ‘why do you do this? How do you do this? Don’t you get scared?’

But to all these questions he had just one answer that  ‘If I get scared this time, then I won’t be able to do anything, ever’.

After this expedition, there was no looking back for him. In August 2018, he went for another cycling trip from Manali to KhardungLa. KhardungLa is considered to be the world’s highest Motorable pass. The route of this trip is 550 km long but is at an altitude of 18000 ft. which makes it very difficult. ‘Some paths were very narrow and difficult for me’ he says but in the end his passion didn’t let him quit and the most challenging 11-day journey came to an end with lots of learnings and memories for him to cherish.


When Camera became his friend

Govind says that he had a peculiar interest in photography. He used to shoot some videos and photos from his mobile phone wherever he used to go. After some time he thought that it was the time to move on to the next level of photography which was the camera.

He narrates the story of his first camera experience. He says ‘the first time I held a camera, I thought that I won’t be able to operate it. I met several filmmakers in Shikshantar. They taught me multiple things about an angle, shot, and frame in a camera. It further generated my interest in filmmaking. In this way, I learned to edit, and filmmaking.

Govind is popular by the name ‘Bindaas’ as his personality. Every Sunday morning, a group of around 15-17 cyclists comes together along with ‘Bindas Govind’ to share the passion for cycling. This group is known as ‘Bindaas cyclists’.

Govind is a perfect example of passion and dedication. If you are determined to do something, nothing can ever stop you.

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By Juhee Mehta

Literally, see characters of books in every person she meets. Apart from eating, she is found adventuring and talking to herself. Believes in magic and escape reality through words. If she possibly knows you, you might find yourself in her poems.

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