Hyderabad: Gattipally Shivalal might be just three feet when it comes to height, but he is standing tall in the dwarf community now by becoming the first dwarf in the country to earn a driving licence.
The 42-year-old, who works at a private company in the city, saw the need to be self-reliant since it was getting increasingly tough for him to travel, given his height.
“Back then, as I couldn’t drive, I had to be dependent on public transport and cabs. But a few cab drivers and some random people on the road would pass comments on me. So, I decided to learn to drive a car whatsoever,” shares Shivalal, a resident of Kukatpally.
“I customised my car where the pedals were heightened than usual and were within the reach of my legs. However, even when I had a car, it became very tough for me to learn driving as over 120 driving schools in the city refused to teach me, citing various reasons,” he said, adding that it was finally with the help of his friend Ismail that he turned what was considered impossible into a record-breaking effort.
Now, Shivalal holds the Telugu Book of Records, Limca Book of Records and according to him, even the Guinness World Record for holding a driving licence in the dwarf category.
Shivalal, who is teaching his wife to drive, plans to open a special driving school in the city to help many dwarf people become self-reliant. “For the same, I would like to request the State government to lend some support so that many like me can learn to drive and become independent,” he adds. His no gears automatic vehicle has been approved by the Telangana government.