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Meet Preethi Srinivasan; She is the first disabled woman to win Kalpana Chawla Award

Preethi Srinivasan was awarded the I Am Woman Award on 28th April 2018. Preethi was left quadriplegic after an accident. However, this did not pull down her spirits, but instead she embraced it and then strived to help others in her position. She runs a charitable trust called Soulfree in Tamil Nadu, which strives to help people who despite severe disabilities can be ‘positively abled.’ In the words of Preethi, she thinks “The greatest blessing and gift in life is the ability to see the light, opportunity, and challenge in adversity.”

Preethi Srinivasan was a national level swimmer when she was eight years old and was also the youngest to play in the Tamil Nadu women’s cricket team. Her life changed when she was 18 years old after an accident left her a quadriplegic and confined to a wheelchair.

Breaking the hindrances of social shame, Preethi set up a trust called Soul Free for individuals influenced with spinal string wounds. She has now been respected with the Tamil Nadu government’s Kalpana Chawla grant for boldness and brave endeavor, the principal crippled individual to get this honor in Tamil Nadu. Soul Free is an open beneficent trust that enables the seriously crippled to carry on with a real existence of poise and reason.

It aims to spread knowledge on spinal cord injuries to every school, college and public so that people understand the seriousness of the condition. Soul Free also aims to provide a support system for people with disabilities and their family via donations, education and job opportunities.

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