Story Of An Accidental Couple And A Customised Car

40-year-old Anup Chandran and 36-year-old Nehal Thakkar are disabled and have mobility issues but they still drive! Here’s how…

Written By: | Edited By: | May 14, 2024 हिन्दी में पढ़े

Year 2003

Date: 22 of June

Location: Palm Beach Road, Mumbai

Accident: Car crash

Injury: Spinal

Cut to the year 2005.

Date: 22 November

Location: Palm Beach Road, Mumbai

Accident: Car crash

Injury: Spinal

Two separate accidents, two years apart. Two different people. But the accidents are a mirror image of each other. The circle of similarity completes when the two people meet, fall in love, get married, and live happily ever after.

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In the first, it was Anup Chandran. In the second, it was Nehal Thakkar.

“I was in the passenger seat, and the car just went off the road,” recalls Anup.

“Because of the height, the impact was on my spine. An x-ray showed a fracture in my spinal cord resulting in paralysis below the waist.”

Two years later, it was Nehal. Same date, same spot, same car, same accident. Same injury.

The mishap left the duo wheelchair-bound.

Nehal says,

“I underwent rigorous physiotherapy sessions for the first two years. I thought that if I walked enough my muscles would become stronger. Soon, I realised no amount of physiotherapy could fix it. I had to accept my reality.”

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It took time. But to move forward in life, one has to come out of a situation and so did he, Anup feels.

And the couple did come out strong. One striking evidence of this is the fact that they both drive a car.

Both are employed in full-time jobs. Nehal runs an event management company and Anup is a professional with Standard Chartered Bank.

The need to step out and be independent pushed Anup to find a solution. He started wearing callipers on his legs. Later, he had a better idea. He modified his Hyundai car.

The controls of their car rest on a lever instead of foot pedals.

“Pull to accelerate and press to brake, like in a bike,” Anup explains.

The vehicle is approved by the Regional Transport Office (RTO).

Their car week is divided between the two – Anup drives three days a week and Nehal four.

Anup says,

“I keep pushing everybody to get their cars modified. Get out, work, make yourself visible in the society, I say often.”

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