Gattipally Shivpal, a Hyderabad resident, has become the first dwarf in the country to earn a driver’s licence. The 42-year-old man, who stands just three feet tall, has defied all obstacles to become the first disabled person in his region of Karimnagar to earn his degree. Shivpal completed his studies in 2004.
Shivpal said: ‘People used to tease me because of my height and today I am nominated for The Limca book of records and many others. Many short people are contacting me for driving training’.
The ambitious man stated that he plans to open a driving school for the physically challenged persons the following year. Shivpal is currently employed in a private firm in Hyderabad. He described his challenges to obtain work in the city, saying that he appeared in a movie and a daily soap at first but could not stay in the sector for long.
‘People were not ready to offer me a job as I was handicapped. Through a friend, I got a job in a private company and now I have been working here for the past 20 years. To commute, whenever I booked cabs, they used to cancel the ride. When I used to go out with my wife, people passed bad comments. That’s when I decided to own a car and ride it’, he added.
Shivpal searched the internet for a video made by a man in the United States, eager to learn to drive. It described the changes that must be made to an automobile in order to raise the seat and other equipment to his height. Shivpal learned to drive an automobile from a buddy after having it modified. However, his difficulties did not end there, since obtaining a licence posed another challenge as the transport department had certain guidelines for height.
Shivpal said that after appealing to the authorities, he earned a three-month learner’s permit and subsequently a driver’s permit after passing a formal driving test with an official seated alongside him. ‘Everybody has some fault in them, but finding your hidden talents and achieving them is what matters’, he remarked.