Vikram Agnihotri: The world at his feet.
New Delhi: Sports in general and motorsports in particular pushes men and women to explore their limits. These limits are often defined by the extent one is willing to put themselves out of their comfort zones. This particular aspect of motorsport separates the heroes from the also-rans. The 2018 Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm turned the spotlight on one such hero.
Vikram Agnihotri, took part in the Xplore category of the 2018 edition of India’s longest cross-country rally. But he was not just any other participant. The Indore-based businessman drives his car with his feet. Yes, that’s right.
As a seven year old, he accidently came in contact with high-tension wire. His both arms had to be amputated. But the cruel turn of fate didn’t stop him from pursuing life to the fullest extent. With support from his parents, he taught himself to use his feet to do the mundane things in everyday life—read, write, play, swim and many more. He went to complete his post-graduation in Economics before setting up his own business. “My hands were charred and had to be amputated but luckily I survived because I had my feet off the floor. I did not realise what was happening then but my parents motivated me and got me on my feet,” he told The Hindu during the rally.
Few years back, he taught himself driving with his feet controlling the steering. But there was one little problem. The Indian Motor Vehicles Act had no provision for granting licence to people who use their feet to drive. It took him two years, during which he had to move heaven and earth and meet the surface transport minister, Nitin Gadkari, before getting the law modified.
Finally, after multiple tests, the Indore RTO granted him the prized driving licence. Since, getting his licence, Vikram has driven for more than 25,000 km in his automatic variant of the Martui Suzuki Celerio without any incident.
This year, he wanted to up his game even more. His first outing in motorsports came in the Malwa Adventure. He then took part in the Indore round of the Maruti Suzuki Autoprix. Once bitten by the bug of motorsports, Vikram set his sights on the Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm. Seeing his passion for motorsports, the organisers of the rally, Northern Motorsport, invited Vikram to this edition of the Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm. With his trusted friend, Ankit Malhotra, in the navigators seat, he not only took part in the rally, he managed to finish third in his category in his debut appearance in the rally.
It’s the grit and determination of people like Vikram, what makes us believe nothing impossible. They have the world at their feet.