Pradeep Pattanayak

The saying ‘when the going gets tough the tough get going’ has once again been proved. This time, a Class IX divyang girl from Bolangir district has done so.  

Despite being a Divyang (devoid of limbs), she is good at painting. She paints with a brush holding it in her mouth. Her painting skill has to be seen to be believed. She has so far participated in many competitions and won awards and appreciation in equal measures. 

Her journey so far would definitely inspire many but none would perhaps wish to walk the path she has traversed. 

Payal Nag was born as a normal child in a poor family at Jamunabahal village under Muribahal block in Bolangir district. In 2015, acute poverty forced her parents to go to Raipur as migrant labourers. They took her and her younger brother along with them. 

At a worksite, while her parents were working, she along with her brother was playing nearby. While playing, accidentally she came in touch with a live wire and got injured severely. 

She was immediately rushed to a nearby hospital where the doctor had to amputate her two legs and two hands. 
Then the incident hugged attention as print and electronic media gave it wide coverage, showing the sorrow of migrant labourers. OTV had also covered the incident. While speaking to OTV, Payal had lamented that she could no longer play like any normal child. 

Her parents had been in great distress thinking about what would be her future. 

Then a ray of hope emerged as the district administration came to the family’s rescue. Two prosthesis legs were fitted to her, giving wing to her dreams. 

Seven years have passed in just a blink of an eye. Enrolled as an inmate at Parbatigiri Bal Niketan on the outskirts of Bolangir district, she is now reading in Class IX at Sadeipalli Pallishree High School. 

Due to her sincerity, her skills in painting, singing and dancing have made her dearer to her teachers as well as her colleagues. 

“Despite being a divyang student, she is an epitome of courage, eagerness towards study and sincerity. She hardly remains absent from class. She comes to the school with her friends and plays with them, with no feeling of inferiority,” said Brundaban Mahakud, Head Master of Sadeipalli Pallishree High School. 

Recently, Bolangir district Collector Chanchal Rana mentioned her in a Tweet. 

“Payal Nag, a differently-abled girl bagged First Prize in Drawing and Song Completion at Block Level Surabhi Programme & recommended for District Level Completion. Payal lost her legs due to electric shock a couple of years back,” read the Tweet. 

When contacted, Collector Rana said, “She is a source of inspiration for the differently-abled persons in the State. As a person, not as a Collector, she has been very inspiring to me.”

However, Payal who is brimming with confidence has a wish. 

“I wish Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik should see my paintings. I feel happy that the Collector mentioned me in his Tweet. Now I feel I can do everything,” said Payal.

(Reported by Manoranjan Joshi from Bolangir, OTV)