Javed Abidi is the director of the National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP) in India, and the founder of the Disability Rights Group.
He received an education in journalism and communication at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio.
He set up the disability wing of the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation in India, after being invited to do so by Sonia Gandhi.
When Javed was born, doctors told his parents that he wouldn’t survive beyond 20 days. They promptly named him Javed which means immortal! Javed was later diagnosed as having Spina Bifeda. The first decade of his life was uneventful (Javed hates the word normal!). Then, in his own words, he graduated to crutches at the age of 10 and mastered the art of suing a wheelchair by the time he was 15. Meanwhile, after completing school, he went to the US for further studies. After returning to India in ‘89, Javed was set to become a journalist. But, because of his physically challenged state, no one was willing to give him a job. So, Javed decided to become a freelancer. It was a chance meeting with Sonia Gandhi that paved the way for a full-time job – to set up and head the Disability Unit – at the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation. Javed continues to relentlessly work at sensitizing people towards the physically challenged.