After having topped the Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) examination, Rajalakshmi S J was off to present her paper at the National Conference in Chennai but a road accident on her way left her on a wheelchair.
But as the saying goes, the courageous are those who rise above all the challenges. While it was difficult for her to accept that she had to use a wheelchair, it became her best friend.
Despite a provision of reservation for disabled people, she had to fight a legal battle to gain acceptance into the university of her choice. She pursued her Master’s in Dental Surgery and became a Gold Medalist. She opened her own Dental Clinic, SJ Dental Square in 2013.
“I feel fortunate to explore two different lives in one lifetime. One in which I lived as an able-bodied woman and one that I continue to live now, of a differently abled woman,” mentions Rajalakshmi.
Love For Fashion and Modelling
Rajalakshmi had a deep interest in fashion and modelling, therefore she also studied fashion design. When she got an opportunity to participate in the beauty contest, she grabbed it with open arms. From a group of 250 participants, she won the title of Miss Wheelchair India 2014 in Mumbai. Her response to the question asked by the judge “If you have an opportunity to live somebody’s life, who would that be and why?”, left everyone shocked.
Her winning answer was- “I have been blessed with two different lives in the same lifetime; one of the abled and another of the differently abled. If not for my accident, I wouldn’t have been so strong and what I am today. So, If you are asking me for an opportunity then I think I have already got that opportunity and that is Dr Rajalakshmi.
She also won Miss Wheelchair World Popularity in 2017 held in Poland. The event featured contestants from 24 countries including Brazil, India, Italy, Canada, France, Mexico, Russia and the United States.
Establishing SJ Foundation
Rajalakshmi is the Chairperson of SJ Foundation. She established this foundation in 2015 to organise Miss Wheelchair India 2015.
“The Founder, Mr Sounak Banerjee, asked me if I could organise the contest in Bengaluru. However, we managed to bring in sponsors and raised the bar of the contest from the previous years,” states Rajalakshmi.
The foundation works for the cause and betterment of disabled people in society since its inception. Over the years, the foundation has played a pivotal role in raising awareness about the challenges faced by the disabled community, advocating for their rights, and implementing practical solutions to enhance their quality of life.
A Woman Of Many Talents
Today, Rajalakshmi S J is an independent woman, who drives her car, runs her dental clinic, works at the foundation and travels a lot to explore.
She also conducts dental health camps at schools. Rajalakshmi has participated in many wheelchair dance and basketball programmes and events. She loves to dance, swim, sing, paint and travel.
Rajalakshmi is a living example for all those who might consider giving up on life when faced with adversity. Her life teaches a valuable lesson – embrace the present, appreciate it for what it is and strive for improvement. She encourages everyone to continuously seek new horizons, perceive life from diverse perspectives and savour every moment to the fullest.
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