“Life is all about what you choose to do”

Preethi Srinivasan (September 05, 1979) was the youngest member of the Tamil Nadu state women’s cricket team. She started representing the state at the age of 8 years and led the state team to the National championship in 1997 at the age of 17. She was a National level swimmer who has won state gold in 50m breaststroke and silver in other events. Not just in sports she was exceptional in studies as well. In class 12, she was amongst the United States of America’s top 2% merit students and awarded representation with Who’s Who Among American high school students. She had a bright future but destiny had some other plans for her. At the age of 18, on a college trip with her friends to Pondicherry (officially known as Puducherry) the impact of the waves on a beach shocked her body resulting in a severe case of paralysis below her neck, caused by a cervical level spinal cord injury.

After surviving an accident that left her quadriplegic she co-founded Soulfree, a charitable trust that focuses on providing a life of dignity and purpose to the severely disabled people, especially women particularly with spinal cord injuries and spreading awareness on its prevention among Indian youth. After the accident, she took up a Bachelor Correspondence Course in medical sociology from the University of Madras.

She is a professional motivational speaker delivering inspiring talks especially to college students. She was listed among top 16 famous Indian with disability for 2014 and she is receiver of Envisage ability award, the Rotary highest award from district Rotaract Council, Kalpana Chawla award from Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Femina ‘Penn Sakti’ award bestowed upon the top 10 most influential woman in Tamil Nadu, Vijay TV’s “Sigaram Thotta Pengal – Ray of Hope” award, and many more.

Life lesson– As appositely said “Life is about accepting the challenges along the way, choosing to keep moving forward, and savoring the journey.” Winners like her have several personality traits like facing adversity with a smile, empowering themselves, staying optimistic, developing an attitude of gratitude, believing in themselves and their ability, focusing on strengths and not weaknesses, staying self-motivated, never quitting. In addition to this they avoid holding grudges or blaming others, they work at their own pace by never stop growing, they accept failures learn from them and move ahead, they strengthen their will power and plan their life by creating short and long term goals. In short, they take charge of their life and live a life full of meaning.