You are going to read about someone who grew up climbing up and down the mountains and survived a deadly fall while controlling a furious horse at the age of 19, all these physical challenges were a part of life his life. A person who is this great and brave was just one-step away from becoming an Army office when he got paralysed. This broke his dream but he stood strong, we are talking about Captain Navin Gulia whois a true inspiration for all of us. “When people face hardships or tragedies, their very first reaction is – why me? I find this question really stupid. I say, why not me? Why wouldn’t it be me?” says Gulia.
Captain Gulia was a backbencher during his school days but this wasn’t the case in the military academy. After successfully completing his training at the National Defense Academy Pune, young Navin began training at the Military Academy Dehradun. Unlike his school days, he became an instant favourite of seniors and trainers for his true grit. He was a cadet who was ready to brave it out before anyone else. By the time he was 19, Navin had excelled in rock climbing, horse riding and parachute jumping – sometimes even at the cost of missing a vacation. During the final year of their last obstacle competition, Navin received a fatal injury in his spine leaving his entire body paralyzed. Who knew that his training in the Army was fated to prepare him for a battle of a lifetime against his own body!
“I never think I am the chosen one. Nobody is. Your experience and the ideas you produce when required, are the two things that make you stand apart,” adds this world quadriplegic. However, as we all know that an Officer always remain an Officer, Navin did not quit. After coming out of the hospital after 2 years, he prepared himself mentally and start taking more challenges in his life. Nevertheless, like always, he had passed in flying colours in the biggest adventure of his life. He, sitting on his wheel chair, completed his PG in Computer Management and start teaching Computer science. At present is running his own coaching center in Gurgaon.
“My survival kit for any adventure has one essential thing – experience – that has never failed me. Everything else never comes handy when you need it. As an army man, I learnt that when you are prepared for enemy attacks from three directions, the enemy will nail you from a fourth direction. Life is like this and so is adventure.” True to his words, Gulia soon finished his Master’s course in Computers from Symbiosis College Pune and started teaching at various schools and kids in villages. In the meantime, he got an automatic transmission car developed for himself. Are you now surprised that this is the man who attempted to go beyond Khardung La – practically the highest motor able road in the world and reach Marsimik La – world’s highest mountain pass with hardly any roads? He included his name in Limca World Record by driving relentless from Delhi to Marsimikla. He is sole disabled individual to achieve 18,632 feet stature, the most elevated motorable go on the planet in 55 hours.
Indeed, even in the wake of being a 100% handicapped, Navin Gulia is notable as a various honor winning, universally acclaimed, Author, Adventurer, Thinker, Orator and Social Worker. Not only this, being adventurous by heart, Navin has practiced flying Microlite aircraft. Apart from this, he has written two books motivated from his own life experiences (Book1: In Quest of the Last Victory, Book2: Veer Usko Janiye). He additionally runs an NGO named ADAA ‘Apni Duniya Apna Ashiana‘ dedicate to work for street children, village children and differently able children. Prime Minister has awarded him as National Role Model in 2006.
He says, “Adventure is about experiencing life at its extremes. Here is where you learn to stretch your limits. But the real joy comes from seeing these kids smile and getting happy when they receive things like uniform or the opportunity to go to school”, says Navin – a recipient of numerous awards including Global Indian of the Year, Indian People of the Year and Ability Mastery Award. Well for someone who always loved running in the rain as a cadet, the grit comes naturally. He continues to inspire millions of people, especially physically disabled, across the world through various platforms.
There is a well know quote by Navin Gulia that we all should remember – “For a tiger to walk Alone, Strong, Confident, and Fearless, is not Bravery. It is outing. It is what it is. It is its Nature. It possible cannot be anything else except that. In life, never give yourself a choice to be anything except what you wish to be. Make it your nature.”
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