Muskaan Devta

I have struggled a lot with accepting myself, since I was a child who was born with numerous complications, and also getting others to accept me.

If there’s one thing I have learnt during my 18 years on Earth, it is the fact that you need to be able to love yourself first, before anyone else can love you. Being different due to my partial hemiplegia initially set me back a great deal, and my shyness ruined many great social opportunities. Once I had my brother in my life, and I realised that I was who I was, there was no stopping me.

I have authored two books, have hosted my own radio show, and have been humbly honoured with various awards for my community service. Having spoken at platforms such as TEDx Auckland, Festival for the Future, Zeal Tall Poppy, on behalf of CCS Disability, and also at a number of schools, I wish to emphasise that getting your story out is very important.

Being different should not set you apart from the crowd, difference is something to be celebrated and not ridiculed. But to do this, we need to understand how to be a shoulder for those having trouble talking about their problems, how to be more accepting and warm. When we help others around us, the world automatically becomes a more beautiful and loveable place to be.