He was good, often referred as “Einstein” in early school days but was not described as exceptionally brilliant. His father was head of the parasitology division at the National Institute for Medical Research. His family consisted of his parents, two sisters and an adopted brother. They were often regarded as a ‘senile’ family who would silently keep reading books even during supper! At 17, he was admitted to University College, Oxford and his physics tutor, Robert Berman, later said, “It was only necessary for him to know that something could be done, and he could do it without looking to see how other people did it.”
But life had something difficult in store. He got married, had three children and was diagnosed with motor neuron disease, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). It was catastrophic and the end of everything he planned seemed so near.But that did not dampen his spirits and even though the doctors predicted that he may not live more than two years, he lived much longer and introduced us to the finest books based on the concept of time, cosmos, applied mathematics and theoretical physics. Television series like Brave New world, Master of Universe, Theory of everything, and his best seller book- A Brief History of Time showed us that he was a great thinker, a fighter who defeated despondency and emerged as a winner.
Hawking was a symbol of hope and humility to millions across the world. He became a great source of inspiration, strength and willpower to those who lacked something and felt depressed. Hawking was proof that difficulties in life can be overcome if you have the will to move on.Hawking must inspire us Indians to focus diligently and with a heart to facilitate educational facilities for the specially-abled children in the country. A nation is not great because of its gigantic infrastructure and the highest GDP but because it has sensitive and humble leaders who care for the smallest segment of the society however politically insignificant they might be.
These lines by Stephen Hawking must be taught in every school in our country- “My advice to other disabled people would be, concentrate on things your disability doesn’t prevent you doing well, and don’t regret the things it interferes with. Don’t be disabled in spirit as well as physically”.