INDIA: As a young girl growing up in West Bengal’s Barrackpore, Arpita Roy’s dreams came to a drastic halt when fate cost her legs in an accident. Roy knew at that very moment that her life wouldn’t be the same anymore, but it was up to her to make it better. Today, Roy is a fitness and yoga trainer who helps her clients improve their physical fitness and mindfulness.
“I’m not ashamed of my scars,” wrote the 33-year-old, as she posted a video of doing a headstand without her prosthetic legs. The post was a reply to those trolls who said that she was “afraid to show herself without artificial limbs.”
In April 2006, Roy fell from her bike and was struck by a lorry from behind that went over her legs. Roy had almost lost her life due to the heartbreaking incident. But, the doctors kept giving her blood, and her pulse came back but to save her life her legs had to be amputated.
She had to remain confined to her hospital bed for the next four months. Once the doctors provided her with prosthetic limbs, Roy’s dreams of walking again saw the daylight.
Rising like a phoenix
Even after the major setback, Roy didn’t give up. But what continued to play on her mind was the social stigma attached to being differently-abled. The stares, comments, and, discrimination faced by her began bothering her family as well. But for a strong-headed Roy, what mattered was with whom she walked and not how she walked.
Just when she began accepting her new body, Roy realized that she was putting on weight. And being an amputee, she needed to maintain her weight to avoid facing issues to fit in the artificial limbs. But being bilateral above knee amputee, working out without her legs made almost every exercise difficult. After experimenting with different forms of workouts, Roy found yoga therapeutic, physically and mentally. She understood that there was more to yoga than just “twists and turns”.
In 2015, she started taking yoga classes and what began as a self-healing journey soon became the center of Roy’s life.
After feeling confident with her progress, Roy took to social media, where she received appreciation from renowned athletes and won contests, and even got featured on Instagram pages. Roy aims to collaborate with artificial limb centers in the future, where she can help other amputees find a new lease of life.