CA Santwana Aras

The CA on Wheels

Santwana Aras suffers from a rare genetic disorder called ‘Spinal Muscular Atrophy’ since birth. She is on the wheelchair since past 30 years. In spite of all odds, she is a practicing Chartered Accountant.

Her struggle began when she was six months old and couldn’t crawl like normal children, unable to hold her neck or sit at her own from the lying position. It was a progressive disorder causing severe muscular weakness; resulting in inability to hold even a pencil up to an age of 12 years. Nine years of physiotherapy helped her holding her neck, partially. Her education till class 8th was carried at home as she was denied admission in schools.

Movement for education and job always required help of two persons. Despite the pitiful attitude of society and relatives, she gained more self-confidence and won prizes in co-curricular activities. She also got first division throughout her education.

Disability deprived her of science stream and becoming a doctor despite scoring distinction in PCM in 10th. Another lucrative choice was Chartered Accountancy. Hence, she opted for Commerce. Well-wishers cautioned to re-consider, because of tough results and no reservation in CA. Accordingly, started determined efforts to study B.Com. and CA Course simultaneously. Unfortunately, she couldn’t avail coaching, since there were no lift facilities in institutions in Bhopal.

Slow writing-speed due to tremors resulted in few failures in CA exams. She was also admitted twice in ICU during this time. But the success-mantras ''It is not ease but efforts, not facilities but difficulties that make a man'' & ''Crosses are the ladders that lead to assured success'' helped in achieving her final goal of becoming CA.

Disability also came in way of articleship and even after two years of passing CA, many CA firms hesitated to oblige her into partnership. An old friend CA. Naveen included her as partner in his firm. Now she is conducting audit in banks and other institutions.

Today, besides professional accomplishments, Santwana also runs an NGO called ‘Uday Shiksha Evam Jan Kalyan Samiti’ engaged in imparting skill development trainings for better job-opportunities to the poor and backward class. Her NGO has imparted job-oriented trainings under PMKVY Scheme to 500 females in Ashta, Khandwa and Seoni in the apparel sector and computer-Networking training to 200 downtrodden males and females. She has been felicitated by the CA Institute, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment and Gaura Jan Utthathan Evam Kalyan Samiti.

Santwana has conducted story-telling sessions with many school-going children. She has delivered motivational lectures at various CA Seminars and Sectoral Workshop of Madhya Pradesh State Skill Development Council, Indore.

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