Amputee drives into history: Defies odds behind the wheel. Here's how

Thansen carved his name in history on April 22, becoming Tamil Nadu's first double-hand amputee to secure a driving license. Inspired by Vikram Agniho
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Driving licence test
Obtaining a driving licence has become tougher after rules to pass the driving test in Kerala have been modified. (Photo is representational)
Driving licence test
Obtaining a driving licence has become tougher after rules to pass the driving test in Kerala have been modified. (Photo is representational)

Limbs, especially hands, have long been considered indispensable for driving, serving as the primary interface between the driver and the vehicle's controls. However, Thansen K's remarkable story challenges this conventional wisdom, showcasing the power of determination and adaptation in overcoming physical limitations.

On April 22, Thansen made history as the first double-hand amputee to obtain a driving license in Tamil Nadu. Inspired by the pioneering example of Vikram Agnihotri from Indore, who achieved the same feat in 2016, Thansen embarked on his driving journey five years ago. However, the path to obtaining a license seemed uncertain until recently, leaving him reliant on public transport and grappling with the limitations it imposed on his mobility.

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The Chennai North Regional Transport Office (RTO) granted Thansen a 10-year license to drive a modified car after receiving certification of his fitness from the Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine. His achievement not only serves as a beacon of hope for others with disabilities but also catalyzes a paradigm shift in how fitness certification is approached for individuals facing similar challenges.

Also Read : Driving licence test in this state gets tougher, triggers protests

Thansen's journey of resilience began at the age of 10 when a tragic accident led to the amputation of his hands below the elbow. Despite the initial devastation, he gradually learned to navigate life's challenges independently, refusing to let his disability define his capabilities.

His quest for driving independence gained momentum when he learned about an armless woman obtaining a driving license in Kerala in December 2023. Encouraged by this precedent, Thansen sought certification from the Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine, where he encountered initial skepticism from medical professionals.

With a modified automatic vehicle tailored to his needs, he mastered the art of driving using his legs, demonstrating remarkable agility, control, and adaptability. A team of doctors rigorously evaluated his skills, paving the way for his endorsement as fit for driving under the 'adapted vehicle category.'

First Published Date: 05 May 2024, 09:41 AM IST
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