At the age of 21, Rajalakshmi met with a life-altering accident that resulted in her losing the ability to walk. After undergoing several surgeries, she reached a state of tranquility and acceptance. Rajalakshmi, though, doesn’t believe that her physical impairment has stopped her from pursuing her goals or creating her own identity.
She recently won the All India silver medal in mixed doubles, and bronze in women’s singles and women’s doubles. Talking to her about that she said, “I was a district-level player when I was in 10th standard, post that I didn’t continue with that. Now, I started playing again”.
She also fought for reservations for the rights of the disabled to education in the courts to finish her MDS, and in the process getting the 3% reservation policy for the disabled implemented nationwide successfully in 2010.
Talking to her about accessibility for disabled people in India she said, “ It is still an issue but it is getting better in public places. Compared to what it was 10 years ago, it has improved a lot but it has to get even better”.
She also has a foundation called SJ Foundation which provides for disabled and senior citizens. She also went on to organize Miss Wheelchair India 2015 in Bengaluru through the SJ Foundation. She added, “ Miss Wheelchair is a beauty pageant for the disabled, I was crowned as Miss Wheelchair 2014, after winning the pageant I organized, Miss Wheelchair 2015 through the SJ foundation”. Her organization primarily focuses on the betterment of disabled and underprivileged people.
Talking to her about whether there is something not many people see or talk enough about disabled people, she said No. Mostly everything is seen and taken care of.
Talking to her about plans, she said “ I don’t lay out plans often, I just flow with the wind”.
She is a consulting orthodontist, a gold medalist, a beauty pageant winner, a founder, and an avid traveller. Truly, an inspiring lady.