CA Himanshu Bakshi tells us that – Right from KG till date I have someone judging, criticizing, laughing at me because I am a Dwarf. However this has never stopped me from being – A Black Belt in Taekwondo, a TEDx speaker, to receiving the CII Young Achiever Award and recently addressing the BRICS Economic Forum.
I am on a mission – ASPIRE TO INSPIRE BEFORE YOU EXPIRE.
“I STAND TALL despite my short height of 3 feet 8 inches. I am suffering from ‘Dwarfism’ and I have NEVER been demotivated by the ‘Different-Ability’ which I am suffering from,” says CA Himanshu Bakshi from Delhi, India. He is a Chartered Accountant, LLB, and a commerce graduate and currently associated with one of the Big 4 consulting firm Ernst & Young.
“I schooled in a regular school (not a school for children with disabilities) with normal children, thanks to my parents who stood by me. Every day was fearful while entering the class as I was treated as an object of entertainment. I always wondered why people laugh at me, do they think I am an entertainer, as in our country a Dwarf is found only in the circus as clowns. My life is full of challenges every single day (literally!) – Whenever I step out of my house I see people laughing at me and making cheap comments. I have even witnessed an ‘educated woman’ pointing towards me and telling her son that if he did not eat his food this was how he would become!
Did all this hurt? Of course, it did. Being a dwarf was not in my hand but what I have with me is my MIND which I can control and no one can conquer it. I worked on my inner self and decided to bring out my best. People who are physically challenged are sometimes WRONGLY regarded by some – As people unable to contribute to the society in any meaningful way because of their disability, which is so not true!
Other than being good in my academics I was also a ‘Black Belt in Taekwondo by grade 9. I studied and lived in a hostel for a few years as I had to realize the reality of life – The sooner the better for me. I had to face my fears and I did. With my strong WILLPOWER and DEDICATION, I have proved to the world that nothing can stop you other than yourself.
My CA Journey:
Being the only child of my parents, they had aspirations from me although their aspirations were a bit dented the day I was born because I was different in comparison to others. While in college I wanted to pursue a course where the world DOES NOT see me with sympathy but they see me as a person who has CROSSED ALL HURDLES and that’s when I enrolled for Chartered Accountancy (CA) course.
I did not want to join a course which has categories for disabled people, I wanted a course which treats everyone equally and CA DOES. With a lot of hard work and dedication, I cleared my CA Exams. I know the worth of my efforts as I have written most of my exams while standing for 3 hours, as the benches were too big for me.
In fact, I lost my dad when I was in my CA Final (last level CA exam) and that was the lowest point of my life. My dad wanted to see me as a CA, I fulfilled his dream, but the day it got fulfilled he wasn’t there in this world. My mom is the biggest pillar of inspiration.
My Journey as a qualified CA:
Fast forwarding, after clearing CA I knew it was time for me to enter the ‘Corporate World’. I always had the fear – What if the corporates do not accept me if they see my physical disability and not my merit?! But yet again I reminded myself that we all have disabilities, the only difference is my disability is visible.
My work experience includes – 7 years in Audit and Assurance Division of Deloitte Haskins & Sells (including 3 years of training period) and also Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu which provided vast exposure of financial reporting framework, reporting requirements under various statues in India, practical understanding of accounting and auditing standards, client service requirements and overall team management. I moved to EY in June 2015 in International Taxation – Transfer Pricing, and now handling litigations, advisory, and documentation.
All went well and as the saying goes – If God takes away something from you, he replaces it with something you’ve never imagined. That’s evident in case of my life:
- I am a national level current affairs debater
- I have participated in many TV talk shows
- Given inspirational lectures to people from all walks of life
- Written articles for many newspapers
- In my previous organization, I was given the award of an ‘Inspirational Person‘ of the year.
- Also got featured in the renowned fashion magazine MAXIM, that too in its anniversary issue
- Received awards from many renowned personalities such as Late Mr. Jagjit Singh (Famous Ghazal Singer) and others
- Was at Fever 104 with RJ Khurafati Nitin on his show
- I am a TEDx speaker (watch my video here)
- Have addressed many forums such as CII, ASSOCHAM etc and the list goes on.
- Recently been conferred with – CII Young Achiever Award
- Recently addressed the BRICS Economic Forum as well
So by sharing all my achievements, I am just trying to make one point clear – Everything is Possible. Even though I am short in height, I have never allowed myself to be dwarfed by my thoughts and action. Today, I stand tall by my achievements.
My Advice to others is:
- I am a 3 feet 8-inch person. The day I was born the doctors told my parents – Look your son won’t live for more than 4 years. The reality is I do not know if the doctors are alive but I am alive living my life to the fullest.
- Right from KG to date I have someone judging, criticizing, laughing at me etc but I am a firm believer in critics. Till we don’t have critics in our life, something is not correct, so be BOLD and do not care what anyone thinks of yourself.
- I always BELIEVE in this quote by the Father of Our Nation – Strength does not come from physical capacity, it comes from an indomitable will.
- One strong message he has for everyone – ASPIRE TO INSPIRE BEFORE YOU EXPIRE,” he concluded.
P:S: You could reach him at email@example.comfirstname.lastname@example.org. You can also connect with him on Linkedin.