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By Nida Fatima. 01 September 2020
The survivor of train Blasts - CA Chirag Chauhan

A journey of Chirag who suffered and became the victim of the Mumbai blast In 2006 he got confined to a wheelchair at the age of 18. he is suffering from ‘Debilitating Spinal Cord Injury’
He has Qualified his Chartered Accountant from The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI).   and now he owns his accounting firm- CA Chauhan & Co.   He has also launched ‘EXPERTMILE.COM ‘- A platform that lets consumers find professional services near them.   He completed his CA, also worked in Multi-National Companies then to start his successful CA Firm & Online CA Portal he quit his job   He also drives around.   He has proved to us with his Courage that – DISABILITY IS JUST A STATE OF MIND.   CA Chirag Chauhan – A perfect example for those who have CONVERTED DISABILITY into an OPPORTUNITY.    STRONG DETERMINATION and WILL is far MORE IMPORTANT than a strong body is proved by him.

FROM A CAREFREE TO A RESPONSIBLE TEENAGER

I lost my father when I was barely 18   From then on, life changed.   Earlier I was 18 years old when I lived a carefree life and did not take anything seriously, including studies.   I was smart, but my grades were average because of a lack of focus.   This sudden realization that life could be unpredictable struck me and made me see the world around differently.   I became serious about my life and my responsibilities.

DECISION TO PURSUE CHARTERED ACCOUNTANCY

As then I kept performing well in academics and wanted to become a Chartered Accountant.   This decision has influenced me by the fact that I lost my father and needed a job, which was respected and assured speedy returns.   I pursued my ambition relentlessly of being a Chartered Accountant along with my graduation DESPITE WARNINGS from several people that the journey would be a difficult one!   After completing graduation, I joined a CA firm for my articleship. Life was great until 11th July 2006!

INCIDENT WHICH CHANGED MY LIFE FOREVER

On 11th July 2006, there were a series of bomb blasts in the local trains in Mumbai (India).   I left work early that day, to become a victim of the blasts.   I underwent a ‘DEBILITATING SPINAL CORD INJURY’- A Term which was strange to me and my family.    I was first termed a ‘PARAPLEGIC’ I still remember that day   It completely changed the way I lived forever.   The times followed were very tough.    I spent months in the hospital.   I became incapable of performing the daily chores and caring for myself.   It was disastrous.   My doctor, Dr. Rahul Vasa, and a scientist in motor control tried to empower me to slowly get back a semblance of normalcy.   They helped me practice sitting in a wheelchair.   At first for 3-4 hours and then longer.   I had to undergo harsh recovery training and make extraordinary efforts to achieve even ordinary things.   I slowly realized that being a paraplegic was an invariable condition. It was a feeling of devastation.
I asked God WHY ME???

HOW I CONTINUED MY CHARTERED ACCOUNTANCY STUDIES

I made a Critical Choice to move on from being sorry for myself and accepting what life had thrown at me. I trained myself through rigorous physiotherapy regime   With a FOCUS, I Resumed my CA studies. To CONTINUE where others thought ‘It's impossible’ — That’s one thing I DARED to do. Again, it was tough, but I cleared PCC (2nd level CA Exam now known as IPCC) in 2 attempts and my CA Final Exams in the 1st attempt!!!

LIFE AFTER QUALIFYING AS A CHARTERED ACCOUNTANT

In 2008 my journey started as a Chartered Accountant   However, getting a job immediately was tough after passing CA   Companies REJECTED ME only because I was Paraplegic.   Most of the companies overlooked all my educational qualifications and concentrated on my ONLY DEFECT.   Finally, I joined Deloitte in December of that year and traveled 30 km to my workplace every day.    I decided to set up a business of my own until I worked as an employee in the different job profile.

ENTREPRENEURIAL JOURNEY

I started as an entrepreneur hardly 5 years ago with my own firm named CA Chauhan & Co.   However, acquiring clients was challenging and that's how another idea strikes.   Three years into CA consultancy, I tied-up with a partner to launch ‘EXPERTMILE.COM ‘- a platform that connects consumers to find professional services nearby.   Again, while working on both the ventures, I faced a lot of bias.   Various potential clients doubted my ability to deliver on time as well as deliver a certain standard, just because of my disability.   This was a little disheartening, but I REMAINED FOCUSED on my ambition.   for interacting with the clients, I started writing articles, consulting online.   The quality of my work, writings, and interactions proved my disability and people started sharing my articles, reading and asking questions online.   One of my articles "How to pay zero tax" has got 23,00,000 hits resulting in several new leads every month.   As they say, WHERE THERE IS A WILL THERE IS AWAY.   Today we are a team of 5 and achieving super growth!!!   My online venture expertmile.com went live in April 2015.   In JUST 2 years, we had lined up 4000 specialists and 26000 registered users!!!   now I was looking for private equity funding to the tune of a million dollars with a long-term view of issuing IPOs via listing in the stock exchange.   I have also planned to create jobs for partly disabled people who can serve from home.   I don't want to be observed or rated as someone with a special talent I AM WHAT I AM, competing with others on equal footing. I often drive on weekends to Lonavala and have driven far as Goa and Gujarat with friends, it is a customized car from Mobility enhanced is which can be driven by hands alone.