Skip to main content

Can a Blind Man run 21 kms that too without holding any one's hand?

Here is the one. He is Mohammed Asif Iqbal, a blind man from the age of 16. He is currently working as Associate Director, PWC India, Kolkata a multinational professional services network, the second largest professional services firm in the world and is one of the Big Four auditors. His aim this year is to run 21kms that too without holding any one hands. Unbelievable isn’t it!!!
Visual impairment couldn’t hold back Mohammed Asif Iqbal from participating in Marathons. He has been an absolute inspiration to everyone.

In his words … “I lost my eyesight, but I have a vision and wish to run 21kms marathon this year.”

He is proof that if you keep moving, nothing is impossible!

I am doing this to keep myself fit because I suffered with Hyper Tension sometime ago, he informed. I was just forty and already had BP. Tomorrow I may be at heart risk. I may get Diabetes. I had a close colleague who lost his life at the age of 32yrs old because of cardiac arrest as he didn't take care of himself and that ignited me. This very thought made me get into running. I started with 108kg, now 94kg but my goal is to become 85kg.'
I have already participated in 10kms Marathons dozen times this year, he declares with lot of confidence. I have participated in Bengal's biggest running carnival, Tata Steel Kolkata 25K 2018, he shared. Mohd Asif Iqbal was in Hyderabad on the invitation of Mr. Shailender Singh to deliver a Key Note address at two day annual Conference of NAR India, the Game Changer.

No blindness could stop him. He is a great inspiration to many. All I get assistance is someone runs to left, right and in front of me to guide me orally so that I don’t hit road blocks, fall in pits to avoid falls and escape from injuries. I just get voice instructions, he shares
He delivered keynote address to motivate the delegates and demonstrated that “Nothing is impossible” is just not a quote but a possibility.

He has designed and implemented social inclusion strategy enabling Aadhaar enrollment for marginalized groups such as disabled residents, leprosy affected residents, homeless, migrant labours in India for UIDAI. He chanced upon to meet Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi sometime ago and discussed with PM about the efforts of the government in introducing universal access to infrastructure, services and opportunities for the differently-abled in India.

He is the first Indian visually impaired to get a Management of Business Administration (MBA) degree from Symbiosis Institute of Business Management in 2005.

I was 108 kilos weight, because of which i was suffering with BP. I suffered like that for one and half year. I wanted to address the problem. When I wanted to start running and participate in the Marathon, I posted it on my Facebook and subsequently on WhatsApp seeking volunteers to help me train, guide in participating in the Marathons. My heart broke, I haven’t got any response. Somehow I caught hold of Biswajit Gudia and Devendra Singh who started guiding me verbally. I had a lot of fear before started running. I started with 50 meters, and then increased to 100 meter, then 1 km, 5 kilometer. Now I am confident that I can run whatever may be the races, he declared. Sachin Tendulkar appreciated his running capabilities.

I faced discrimination, negativity in every stage of my life. In my school my teachers told my father to take away this boy who is ruining education environment. They said this boy had dark future. I wanted to live a normal life. A lot of people treated me as a liability. My friends asked me not to play cricket because I can’t see the ball. My life was difficult. It was very challenging. I was depressed. I wanted to die. Then I decided 'andha huye tho kya hua'. The life must go one.

I knew I had the capability. I was the first blind Commerce Graduate in India to be graduated from St. Xavier College, Kolkata. A Lot of premier management educational intuitions rejected me my MBA seat. Finally I got into Symbiosis at Pune. I lived there for two years. I am the first Indian Visually Handicapped to get MBA Certificate, he informed.

In his 13 yr span career he had designed and implemented social inclusion strategy for aadhar, accessible income tax etc. and in order to promote this digital inclusion agenda, he has met former President of India Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, Prime Minister Mr. Narender Modi and various other eminent personalities.

He has also been appointed as the digital inclusion expert for smart city project under the Government of India with the mission to empower the disabled technologically. He uses voice technology to use Laptop. He is at ease as normal human beings in using laptop. He is totally and financially independent.

Published date : 31 Aug 2019 04:36PM

Photo Stories