Diagnosed with scoliosis (polio) when she was two months old, Shilpa Jain grew up with 94 percent post-polio syndrome which affected her lower limbs.

Although being a woman with a disability was never a twofold blow for her, that wasn’t how her extended family and society viewed her growing up.

“They would tell my father to stop spending on my education and save for my marriage as he will need more dowry to get me married,” the 43-year-old Mumbai resident recalls.

“Yes, I am disabled. So what? I am capable of doing so many other things. I decided that  ‘Boss, I have to do something to make my parents proud!’,” she says.

She proved her mettle by becoming a chartered accountant (CA) in 2001 after clearing all three levels of CA examinations on her first attempt.

However, she continued to face discrimination. While pursuing the competitive exam, when she went to enrol herself for articleship, she was rejected by many firms.

But Shilpa worked hard to build a life of dignity one brick at a time.

She also pursued varied other interests — such as driving, swimming, trekking, paragliding, and kayaking without any assistance.

Recently, she was awarded the ICAI award for her diligent & excellent professional achievements.

On account of receiving the recognition, Shilpa pledged to financially support 100 people with disabilities to pursue their CA in the next 10 years.