Paralysed man travels the world researching advances in accessible technology
Prajith Jayapal knows what it feels like living with a physical disability, in 2011 he was paralysed from the neck down after an accident, he’s now on a mission to explore advances in technology for disabled people like himself.
But he’s not just popping into a local research centre, which for him would be based in Kozhikode, Indiana, Jayapal is trekking over six continents, 84 countries, 80,000 kilometres within 400 days.
The 46-year-old’s life changed forever two years ago when he was involved in a road accident at Kozhikode bypass, since then he has been dedicated to researching modern technology and how it can make lives easier for disabled people.
"This is not a world tour. I want to observe and document how different countries are making it easy for people with disabilities. I want to introduce them to India. More than that, I want to prove that there is nothing impossible,” Jayapal told Onmanorama.com.
The journey will start on 1 April, 2024 from Thiruvananthapuram where Jayapal will be seen off by the Kerala Governor and a parade formed of disabled people. Similar celebrations are being planned throughout his quest, in fact “Germany has almost confirmed”.
His adventure will see Jayapal travelling across the world in a four-wheeler with a caretaker, something Jayapal is familiar with - in 2018 he drove a car to Delhi to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi who advised him to embark on a second journey to the US.
The trip, called Drive for Disabled (D4D), is timed to coincide with the run up to the International Ability Expo, arranged by Jayapal’s Divyang Foundation taking place in either 2024 or 2025.
On his travels Jaypal will speak to researchers, scholars and catalogue technical inventors studying modern day advances such as artificial intelligence and robotics. The adventure will also see him learning from new courses, scholarships and residential courses for disabled people at universities across the globe.
Some of the people he meets, if they bring a world of wisdom, will be invited to the Ability Expo.
[ You can sponsor Prajith Jaypal via the Divyang Foundation Trust website ]