Shanavas T A, aged 46, runs his multi-crore timber business in Kerala, lying on a semi-automatic hydraulic hospital bed. You might find his 18 by 15 ft room claustrophobic, but for him, it’s his kingdom where he runs the operations of his business.
At the age of 35, Shanavas met with a road accident that paralysed him from the neck down. He was coming back home from Karkala in the Udupi district where he had gone to buy timber. He had two trucks loaded with timber following his car. Unfortunately, while driving his car, he dozed off at Kuniya near Periya. His car steered away in the wrong direction. Since he wasn’t wearing a seatbelt, he flung out of his car. No vehicle stopped to give him a hand, and as such, was taken to the nearest hospital via the trucks drivers who followed him.
The doctors did not conduct any surgery as there was a spinal cord injury. Recovering in a different hospital for months changed his life for the better. He witnessed patients going through worse conditions than him. Shanavas was grateful that his family was there to support him, without which, he wouldn’t have survived. He soon realised that his medical bills were consuming all the family’s savings and had to make sure that his family didn’t starve.
Shanavas decided to kickstart his timber business from a hospital bed in Vellore hospital. His wife, Rahmath, was his right hand. She pledged the gold she had for 1 Lakh rupees and used it to buy timber. By the fifth month, the business grew unexpectedly well and Shanavas came back home to Kamballoor, located in East Eleri panchayat.
Today, the family runs a multi-crore timber business in Kamballoor and Parappa. While Shanavas acts as the salesperson, Rahmath is the bookkeeper in the business. A 32-inch monitor in Shanavas’ room helps him keep track of the 20 carpenters who work for him at their depot and workshop. Not only that, but the family also donates a lot of money to families and children who are in need of financial assistance.
Shanavas’ success story is inspiring to say the least. He did not let his disability overtake his life. Rather, he found a way to work around it. He controls and runs a multi-crore timber business within the four walls of his house. We can’t deny the significant role his family played to bring his business to fruition. If they can do it, so can anyone. All you need is determination.