This is story of Charu Khandal, Lead Animator of Shahrukh Khan’s movie Ra-One, who met with a terrible accident. I tried to help her through assistive technology and as she was about to get back to Bollywood, we lost her!
Facebook memory showed up a post of mine from Jan 17, 2017 where I had shared a sad news about shocking demise of Charu Khandal – Ra-One movie animator. I felt compelled to narrate her story as I know it.
Devanshi Upadhyay was just eight months old when she had an epileptic fit. Scared, Vinay and Reshma rushed their daughter to the doctors only to find that she would struggle with spastic dystonic quadriplegic cerebral palsy all her life. Their child was trapped in her body without the ability to communicate her needs. They learnt to read her eyes for clues but her lack of interaction with the outside world had them worried.
Till, they read an article in Mirror about the communication system developed by Prabhat Ranjan, professor at Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information and Communication Technology, Gandhinagar. Ranjan had recently bagged a national award for his communication system for quadriplegics and paraplegics.
The National Center for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP) announced its Mphasis Universal Design Awards last week, naming Prabhat Ranjan as an awardee.
“The award will help bring the benefit of this technology to many more people. Even the medical community in India does not know about its possibilities yet,” said Ranjan, a professor at Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information and Communication Technology, Gujarat.
Hindustan Times (June 18, Mumbai Ed) has carried news about Prabhat Ranjan’s work in trying to enable Charu Khandal, Ra.One movie animator, who won Filmfare award for Best Special Effects movie. However the party to celebrate the award took a tragic turn, when her auto was hit by a drunk driver at end of party. She is now paralyzed neck down with no hands/leg movements. On June 8, she was given a Brain-Computer Interface to let her type using her head movement and brain waves.
See the news at : http://tinyurl.com/da-charu
She is among the four users in India, who have been able to benefit from this system. First user was Mr K Suresh from Coimbatore, about 3 months back. He is using it effectively about 4 hours a day since he cannot sit on wheel chair for more than 2 hours at a stretch.