Xtraspecial: Spreading smiles and sunshine, Krunal is a ray of hope for many!

Xtraspecial: Spreading smiles and sunshine, Krunal is a ray of hope for many!

Staying true to his name ‘Krunal’ meaning simple, compassionate and kind, 22-year-old Krunal Kiran Thakur is ardent follower of Stephen Hawking’s principle - “disability need not be an obstacle to success”. Setting an example for others not only in Goa but across India, this youth from Arambol is currently pursuing a BA LLB degree at VM Salgaocar Law College at Miramar and holds the distinction of being the first Goan Brand Ambassador of the first ‘Purple Festival’ held in Goa earlier this year.

With his mother being the wind beneath his wings, Krunal kick-started everything at a very young age and his condition of muscular dystrophy does not make him different from any of his peers. In fact, he is better equipped with knowledge and skills that not only help him to supersede, but also makes him a strong support system for others. Believing in his own capabilities, Krunal represents the people with muscular dystrophy of all types and advocates, “Treat person with disability not as disabled but as differently abled.”

A brilliant boy, Krunal stood first with 86% in SSC in the disabled category, scored 74% in HSSC and was felicitated by the government. As a student, teachers found him keenly interested in managing and administrating various forums, cells and groups. He has no stage fear and his boldness enhances his leadership qualities for motivating and empowering others.

As the vice president of two sports associations – ‘Goa Sports Kickboxing Association’ and ‘Combat Karate Boxing Martial Arts Academy’, Krunal, along with his friend Hussain Mulla, is into teaching kickboxing to children with autism.

“We saw the scientific results in the last two years. These children are now calmer and behave in a better way, as kickboxing keeps them busy. Sitting idle is something not beneficial for them. National organisation for kickboxing will now have a special category for special children in kickboxing when the National Games happen,” shares Krunal.

President of the Disability Cell - MGP at Mandrem, and a core committee member of DRAG (Disability Rights Association of Goa), Krunal has been the deputy in-charge of Mandre Legal Cell too. His business acumen led him to start two start-ups in 2019 – one in real estate sector ‘PHD’ and another, a travel agency ‘Megha Tour and Travel’ to carry out their family business of a guest house. Both the businesses are running smoothly. Besides, he also does marketing for resorts, hotels and guest houses in North Goa. He assists his mother to manage affairs of 15 self-help groups for the empowerment of women in Mandrem.

Krunal feels that music works as therapy for disabled persons and helps them to overcome stress and enjoy life. He has done a Disc jockey (DJ) course too. In 2018, he had volunteered to raise fund for flood victims in Kerala. Eager to resolve issues of the disabled, senior citizens, widows and economically backward persons, he helps by filling their forms or uploading details for UDID cards, Aadhar card, PAN card, income certificate, residence certificate etc.

He also helps people in availing benefits under Griha Aadhar, Dayanand Samajik Suraksha Yojana, House Repairing, MGNREGA job cards, Family Support Pension and Education Loan, etc. He is well-versed with voter management (desktop and mobile software), offset and digital printing, war-room structure, survey and call centre, booth management, booth kit, etc. One may wonder how he manages to do all this when he himself moves in a wheelchair.

Courses like political administration and natural language processing came handy to him to participate in debates, open discussions on various issues. Politically aware and active Krunal was the first and youngest wheel-chaired person to fight VP election in Goa. He actively participates in issues, protests, agitations and fights for the rights of all. Currently, he is fighting for the local youth to get employed at Manohar International Airport at Mopa. 

“I managed to provide 74 jobs to unemployed youth in the past one year,” he informed.

Ever willing to take the first step towards any unforeseen situation, he was among the first disabled persons to take the COVID-19 vaccine during the pandemic.

Krunal’s plans for future are chalked out – he dreams to be a successful politician. “I would strive for the betterment of the society,” he assures and offers a tip to those with muscular dystrophy to remain healthy and hydrated.

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