Former captain and youngest member of the Tamil Nadu State Women’s Cricket Team. Preethi Srinivasan was listed among top 16 famous Indians with disability in 2014 and recently won awards from Femina and Rotary.
Preethi started representing the state at just 8 years of age and captained the Tamil Nadu state cricket team to win in the under-19 national championships in 1997. She was the youngest member in the team and was multi-talented along with being a national level swimmer. She is listed in America’s Who’s who list for being among the country’s top two percent meritorious students.
Preethi was just 18 years when one day while returning from a college trip from Pondicherry to her hometown Chennai, they stopped by at a private beach. Preethi went into deep water only to come out paralyzed forever. She did not hit any rock or other substance, it was just the impact of the waves which shocked her body. She was rushed to a hospital in Pondicherry where the doctors refused to treat her because it was an “accident” case. Doctors placed a spondylitis brace on her neck, and sent her to Chennai. When she reached Chennai four hours later, the doctor found it to be a severe case of paralysis, caused by a cervical level spinal cord injury.
Those four hours of misdiagnosed medical care changed her life forever. She was physically confined to a wheelchair for the rest of her life. This accident altered her course of life – physically, mentally and emotionally. After this incident, Preethi was left quadriplegic and has started a small, public charitable trust known as ‘Soul Free’, based in Tamil Nadu. Through this organisation she hopes to create a massive change in the Indian society for the severely disabled by spreading awareness about spinal cord injuries and their prevention, better treatment, enabling greater educational and employment opportunities, creating an exclusive toll free helpline in Tamil Nadu to reach out to those in dire need in connection with spinal cord injuries.
Soul Free aims to create gainful employment for those who can only use their voices. This initiative, called ‘Throat Fort’ aims to train quadriplegics in the use of their voice for various vocations like recording of audio books, radio jockeys, voice dubbing artists, telephone marketing, etc.
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The CSR Journal Team