Hope has two beautiful daughters; their names are Anger and Courage. Anger at the way things are, and Courage to see that they do not remain as they are. – St. Augustine
What limits us from achieving greatness? From becoming someone we want to be and not someone we’re supposed to be? Several thought bubbles pop up around our heads when we ask ourselves these questions, as we try to hide our fears from ourselves. We accept society’s definitions about our lives, we take the easy way out and we settle. But, Damini rejected all such definitions and showed us that it’s our dreams that should decide our fate, not our circumstances.
Born without arms, 19-year-old Damini Sen, never allowed anything to separate her from the people around her. This Raipur teenager does whatever she wants to with her feet and toes, whether it’s combing her hair or dressing up for college or working on beautiful paintings.
Always, think of yourself as someone equal to any other individual and you will succeed. You don’t have to change. The only things that need modifications are the viewpoints of others’. – Damini Sen
In 2015, she set a world record for the highest number of drawings (38) made in one hour using only toes, which earned her a place in the Golden Book of Records. “Painting is my hobby. I paint using my toes like any other person paints using his/her hands. I enjoy the process and want to practise it whenever I get the time,” she says. Damini is also good at academics. She writes her exams with her toes and scored an impressive 80% in Class 10. Damini is adept at performing her daily chores independently – like preparing a full meal or getting dressed by herself. She is now doing her Bachelor’s from DB Girls’ College.
Damini thanks her mother, Madhuri Sen, the most, for her achievements, who never let her lose hope and was determined that Damini should grow up in a world where she could access quality education and nobody would discriminate against her. Madhuri first learnt all new thing she wanted to teach Damini using her toes and then showed her how. She pushed both herself and her daughter to excel.
My mother wanted me to become independent in all respects,” she says.
Looking ahead, Damini wants to become an IAS officer and work for differently abled children. God has given me such a beautiful life and I should make something of it, she says.
Through her unwavering determination, Damini is showing us that we write our own stories and we create our world ourselves. We just need a little hope and lots of courage, not to succeed but just to try again when we fail.