Being an outcast is a tag Guwahati’s Prasanna Kumar Pincha has been wearing on his sleeve for the last 50 years with consummate ease. The disdain in the eyes of his superiors doesn’t hurt him anymore. No, not because of an inferiority complex for being born blind. But because he’s always been confident of his calling in life—fighting for the rights of his other disabled brethren. A regional manager with ActionAid, rubbing the high and mighty on the wrong side comes easy to him. His relentless battle to give a level-playing ground for all other disabled is today a legion in the Assam government’s department of social justice.
Youngest of the four children of a Rajasthani trading family from Churu district, Pincha’s forefathers had migrated to Assam about 200 years ago. His childhood divided between Assam, Bengal and Rajasthan made him proficient in at least three languages. But, more than anything else, he never let his disability be the cause of any complexes in his personality. He attributes this to his parents’ vision in sending him to a “sighted” school. Says he: “My friends never treated me as different. Instead, they always devised ways to make me a part of them. Whenever we played cricket, I was always given a runner and they bowled underhand.” He philosophises: “Children have an amazing capacity to accept others, even the disabled.”