Student Leader Interview - Prathamesh Dalvi, B.K. Birla College

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1. Tell us more about your role & responsibilities at your college? 

I am Prathamesh Dalvi and I an IN SYBA studying arts in B.K. Birla college. I am a visually challenged student. I am completely blind but along with a student, I am a marathon runner. I take active participation in marathons and I love doing it. My responsibilities are to daily study and also do my training without fail and be a better person every day. My aim is to complete this Graduation and also do post-graduation and participate in many more upcoming marathons. 

2. How did you rise up to your position and how can a student aspiring the same, approach it? Tell us more about the journey? 

A- I never dreamt of being a marathon runner or do something beyond the limits. This all started due to a devastating incident on 6th January 2016, I had a kidney transplant done and since then I was advised to work out. With the help of my Father, I started my work out. As my father is an amazing runner, under his guidance I started my running and workout. In the beginning, we just used to walk and after a few days we started fast= walking and due to my daily practice, I could run till 3 KM. And according to me consistency and daily practice and self- belief is the most important thing in life to achieve something. 

3. What have been some of your biggest challenges and learnings from what you do? 

After my kidney transplant, I was on high medications and it resulted in blood pressure issues and I was also diagnosed with diabetes at this young age but according to my doctor’s advice, I already started my workout and running. My routine included going for a run in the early morning and I and my father used to run using a belt for my sense of directions and my father used to guide me with the speed – breakers, turns, potholes, etc. 

Weekly thrice I used to run for 3 km, One day just a walk, and another day my stretching exercises, and then 5 KM run and then a day of rest and this was my daily training. And one morning while running a group of people stopped us and asked why are we running using a belt? There used to be constant stares from people every day and whenever we used to explain my condition, they used to get shocked to see a blind boy running with ease along with the help of a runner guide. Also in this lockdown, I do my training indoors. 

4. What did you do in your current role that makes you feel really proud of yourself? 

Swantraveer Savarkar Rashtriya Smarak organized a marathon in May 2019 and an organization working for team vision was invited for the marathon. I and my father decided to go to this event. And accordingly, we began our training and that was my first time I was going to run with hundreds of people and I completed this event with my father and after this competition my confidence boosted and after that, I completed another marathon at Thane and I continued my training.

On 10 November I was invited by an event/ marathon organized by Kalyan runner’s and Indian Doctor’s association and I was declared as an Ambassador of that marathon. On 1st December another marathon ‘Superheroes with super abilities’ organized by a physiotherapist Dr. Meeta, Thane and I was the ambassador for this marathon. 

After that on 15 December, I completed the Pinkathon Marathon. On 5th January 2020, a marathon organized by SONY TV and Indian cricket association in Worli only for visually challenged people, and here I got to run with a professional guide runner and also meet few Sony TV artists. 

Now, this is a part of my life. I am proud of myself because a few years back I could not even walk 50 steps without help and now I can run for 5 KM straight. My medications have decreased and blood pressure is in check and I no more have diabetes and my perception of life has changed and turned into a positive approach and I could not thank enough to my parents I am so great full to them. I have also learned to play Casio and play Chess in my free time. 

5. What's your message to encourage students to do internships and attend conferences? 

My only message is that grab all the opportunities while you can and go to the conferences, do internships and don’t give up and live your life to the fullest.

Interviewed by - Pranali Donekar

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