Nitesh Kumar Sahoo

God can turn merciless sometimes! However, some people seem to face the ire of the Almighty that somewhat destroys their lives. Such is the story of a 50-year-old blind man from Kendrapada, who is also suffering pain from a growing tumour in his stomach.

But, instead of breaking down, this divyang man stands strong against all odds and is earning his livelihood by repairing cycles as well as singing bhajans.

50-year-old Dilip Baral hails from Kendrapara's Suryapur village. Baral lost both his eyes at the age of two-and-half-year. With time he chose cycle repairing as his profession. Apart from earning popularity for his skills in repairing cycles, he had a unique identity for his enchanting voice.

While repairing cycles, he sings different bhajans and also participates in different religious events in nearby areas. Along with singing he also has skills in playing mridang and certain other religious musical instruments. 

Despite his flaws, he didn't break down and lead his life by repairing cycles and singing bhajans. However, it turned double-whammy for Baral after he experienced unbearable pain and was later detected with a developing tumour in his stomach. 

"I have left everything to the mighty lord Jagannath. It is up to him if he saves me or ends my life. I am experiencing unbearable pain in my stomach, but due to financial constraints, I am unable to treat the condition. My earning source is limited to my cycle repairing shop and make some few earnings by singing at different religious events."

"He is a skilled mechanic as well as a singer. His mother is a paralytic patient and his brothers don't extend support to him. Many have promised to help him financially, but it never happened," said a villager. 

Meanwhile, another villager said, "His (Baral) earnings are not enough to bear his medical expenses. Either be it from government or non-government, if he gets some financial aid for his treatment, we would feel pleased."

Giving assurance to extend government aid, Kendrapara collector, Amrit Rituraj said, "Addressing his medical emergency of treating the tumour will be our first priority. We will extend him government help for the treatment and ensure other facilities so that he gets rid of his tumor. Also, we will make arrangements for him so that he gets funds under the special schemes for artists. The administration will take required steps to ensure his earnings."