He was nineteen years old when Divyanshu Ganatra lost his eyesight to
glaucoma. At the age when one is perpetually dogged with the “what next”
question, he was told that his future lay in making cane furniture and chalk
pieces. The many years that followed tell a story of resilience, determination,
and will power topped with a generous dose of humour and wit.
Facing the stigma and stereotyping that affects a person with disability
first hand, Divyanshu quickly realised that the only way to bring about change
was to foster relationships, promote interaction, and champion inclusivity. In
2014, Divyanshu became the first blind Indian to paraglide solo. Seeing sports
as the perfect platform, he founded Adventures Beyond Barriers Foundation
(ABBF) in 2014, an organisation committed to supporting accessible adventure
sports across avenues including marathons, mountaineering, and scuba diving.
Today, ABBF has impacted 3500 people with disabilities and 1.5 lakh people in
the mainstream community, as well as receiving both media attention and
Growing from one strength to the next, celebrating one success after the
other, Divyanshu and the team at ABBF have bigger dreams. They hope to build
the country’s first completely accessible outdoor adventure sports centre, help
train a team to represent India at the Paralympic Games for tandem cycling, and
catalyse a world where disability is only read as another identity marker.
Falling back on Mandela’s famous words that “sport has the power to
inspire…(it) can create hope where once there was only despair,” Divyanshu
hopes to create a more equal, accessible and inclusive world, one marathon, one
climb, and one ride at a time.
When Speaking Minds was founded in 2007 in New Zealand, little did we envisage that this would grow into an international brand with offices in India and London in less than a decade. We set up the business to share what we had learnt, from the privileges we have had in our jobs – of access to knowledge.
Bringing India to the rest of the world was our driving force.
The dna of our business is genuinely about sharing knowledge with the
world, from thought leaders and experts who are notable achievers in
their field. Raga D'silva quit her highly successful corporate career in
New Zealand in 2007, to set up a dream business of connecting
knowledge, insights, motivation from exceptional talent with the
corporate world, globally.