Hyderabad (Telangana): Gattipally Shivpal, a Hyderabad resident, has become the country’s first dwarf to earn a driver’s licence. The 42-year-old man, who stands just three feet tall, has defied all odds to become the first handicapped person in his region of Karimnagar to complete his degree. Shivpal completed his studies in 2004.
Speaking to ANI, Shivpal said: “People used to tease me because of my height and today I am nominated for The Limca book of records and many others. Many short people are contacting me for driving training.” The highly ambitious man said that he has decided to start a driving school next year for physically handicapped people.
Shivpal presently works at a private firm here and says that he came to Hyderabad in 2000. “I am the eldest sibling and the only dwarf in the family,” he added. Narrating his struggles with finding a job to sustain himself in the city, Shivpal said that he featured in a movie and a daily soap initially but could not sustain in the industry for long.
“People were not ready to offer me a job as I was handicapped. Through a friend, I got a job in a private company and now I have been working here for the past 20 years,” he said. “To commute, whenever I booked cabs, they used to cancel the ride. When I used to go out with my wife, people passed bad comments. That’s when I decided to own a car and ride it,” he added.
Enthusiastic to learn to drive, Shivpal surfed the internet and found a video uploaded by a man in the US. It explained to him the modifications required in a car to lift the seat and other equipment up to his height. After getting a car modified, Shivpal learnt car driving from a friend. However, his struggles did not end here, as getting a license posed another challenge as the transport department had certain guidelines for height.
Shivpal said that after appealing to the authorities, he obtained a learner’s license for three months and then received a driver license after giving a proper driving test with an official sitting beside him. “Everybody has some fault in them, but finding your hidden talents and achieving them is what matters,” he remarked.
(With inputs from ANI)