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I, Santwana Aras, severely disabled (above 80%) Practicing Chartered Accountant of Bhopal and the first and the only CA of the Family, is suffering from rare Neurological disorder “Spinal Muscular Atrophy” since birth. I am on wheelchair since past 34 years. In spite of all odds, I am a Chartered Accountant. Besides professional accomplishments, Co-founder & Vice President of an NGO “Uday Shiksha Evam Jan Kalyan Samiti” engaged in imparting skill development trainings under PMKVY and SCPwD for better job-opportunities to the females and the Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) and so far we have trained 1500 such people. I have been awarded as 35 Best Entrepreneurs of Madhya Pradesh under the age of 35 years for my contribution towards society. I am also a Member of Madhya Pradesh State Advisory Board set up under RPWD Act, 2017 and also Member of CSR Committee of The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.
I am a Motivational Speaker and delivered motivational lectures at various CA Seminars and Sectoral Workshop of Madhya Pradesh State Skill Development Council, Indore, Kaushal Mela Bhopal and during a Book Launch Event on the CA Day. Also some of my motivational lectures are shared online by some CA Coaching Institutions in India.
I believe in quote “PWD stands for Persons with Distinctions, not Persons with Disabilities.” Every individual has different strengths, weaknesses, dexterities, skills and talents. What we need is to identify them, polish & pursue them & enlighten them within us so as to show the world the spark in you. Even a person with disability has certainly some hidden talents in him/her, which sometimes they don't get opportunity to show to the rest of the world. Thus, with this objective in mind and to give PWDs a distinct platform to prove their own identity towards society, our NGO organized a Talent Search Program for PWDs on 24th and 25th February at Women’s Polytechnic College, Bhopal inaugurated by Chairman of M.P. Tourism in which more than 200 children from various NGOs and Institutions of special children in Bhopal, Gwalior and nearby places participated in Drawing, Rangoli, Essay Writing, Painting, Mehandi, group and solo singing, poem recitation, group and solo dance, Instrumental music playing etc.
Recently we conducted the Event “Mehandi Fest by Divyangs” on the eve of Raksha Bandhan in our NGO in which specially-abled girls created beautiful Marwari, Arabic and Persian Mehandi designs on the palms of ladies of Bhopal and is one of the unique of its kind of the Program of town.
Apart from the above, we have organized various programs from time to time on Inclusion Concept with PWDs.
I have been writing since childhood for my school/college magazines, received Second Prize in Indian Oil Corporation’s State Level Essay-writing competition from Ex-Hon. Governor of Madhya Pradesh Dr. Bhai Mahavir and School also received cash reward worth Rs. 2000. Won Consolation Prizes at National Level essay competitions organized by “Career do well” at School and College Level. Awarded First Prize in inter-school speech competition on “Oil Conservation”. Published Stories and Articles in School Magazines every year. Article “My Vision of India in 21st Century” in National Mail declared me “Editor of the Week”. And this passion still continues as even today I continue writing for different newspapers articles on various issues including day-to-day problems faced by PWDs in the present day scenario as regards accessibility issues and inappropriately framed government policies.
Conducted story-telling and motivational sessions with many school-going children for shaping their futures as they are the future of our nation.
CA is the toughest course in Commerce Stream without any reservations for caste or the disabled and its indispensable to join coachings to crack it. But because of my physical disability, I was deprived of coachings in most of the subjects during the CA Course as the CA Coachings in Bhopal are either on 2nd or 3rd floors without having lift facility. This is not the first time I compromised with my physical disability. After passing 10th class, despite of scoring good marks in 10th CBSE Board including distinctions in Mathematics, Science and English subjects, because of my wheelchair bound life, I had to opt for Commerce Stream in Class 11th and thus forego my childhood dream of becoming a doctor and serve the society and other physically challenged.
But I didn’t want the youngsters and new CA Aspirants to face similar hardships as faced by me while pursuing the CA Course and with this motive started giving coachings and mentorship to young CA Students and I am a regular faculty sharing my knowledge bank with the youngsters at Maps Bhopal.
Currently, we are running our skill development batches for Persons with Disabilities in M.P. Nagar, Bhopal.
Recently I narrated my life story to the audience in the Event “Kitaab Connect” in Bhopal, an exclusive program on the Human Library Concept where my story was given the name “The Gifted one”.
I was invited as the Chief Guest in the Inter College Foreign Trade Conclave organized by BSSS College, Bhopal. I did the Inauguration of the Program and was Guest Speaker on the topic "Entrepreneurial Skills to become a Successful Entrepreneur in the Global Market".
I was felicitated by CA Institute Indore 2-times, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Gaura Jan Utthathan Evam Kalyan Samiti and during a Book Launch Event on the CA Day, Umang Gauravdeep Welfare Society, Bhopal and CA Institute Bhopal.
My Online Motivational videos and Media Coverages can be viewed through below links:-
Coverage by ETv News Channel describing my Social Work https://youtu.be/BFZIbU_1xcU
My Motivational Lecture in MPSSDM Event at Brilliant Convention Centre Indore
My Motivational video shared online by CA Exams Topper on his Facebook Page for guiding and motivating CA Students
Live Coverage of our Program हम किसी से कम नहीं https://youtu.be/cJvSzBHAAk0
Coverage by Bhaskar News Channel of our Event “Mehandi Fest by Divyangs”
Our NGO Website can be visited through-