There are many inspiring people who have turned their disabilities into their strengths and one such person is 28-year-old Jilumol Mariet Thomas who suffers from Thalidomide Syndrome and was born without hands. But her sheer determination to learn driving even after knowing the reality is something which will inspire you.
Daily chores that we take for granted were tough for her but Jilumol did not let anything stop her. She does not have hands but she has trained herself to do things like paint and now, even drive! Like many Millenials, the 28-year-old also dreamt about having her own car to drive. She wanted to do it in the streets of Karimanoor, her native village near Thodupuzha.
In 2014, Jilumol approached Thodupuzha Regional Transport Officer (RTO) asking them that she be allowed to take the driving license test. But, in return to her request, the officer on duty declined her test and yelled at her saying they don't issue licenses to people with such disabilities.
Even after such bitter words of discouragement, Jilumol did not give up and began searching for a person who was granted a driving license in special circumstances. Her search yielded result and she found Vikram Agnihotri, the first person without hands to get a driving license in the country.
Two years ago, Jilumol bought her car, a custom-built Maruti Celerio-Automatic. Speaking to a local media she explained that she got the customized car on the guidance of the RTO. Since no one in her family knows how to drive she learned it herself within the compound walls of Ernakulam YWCA, where she lives. She works as a graphic designer at Viani Printings.
Before buying the car she had a lot of convincing to do. She only bought it after she was able to convince her father, N V Thomas who is a farmer and her mother, Annakutty Thomas, a homemaker. Jilumol is yet to have her vehicle registered and get a driving license. A determined Jilumol who knew her goal and was adamant on achieving it, moved the High Court in 2018, seeking permission for driving. After the Centre gave its nod, she is waiting for the response from the state government.