Dilip Kumar

Bargarh: He lost his ability to walk, but didn't give up hope. Driven by a strong will-power and commitment to do it big, 35-year old Premananda Mallick, a Divyang since birth, has never blamed his destiny, but proved himself as an abled man.

Wheel chair-bound Mallick of Bhejipalli under Bheden block in Bargarh is an example for others when it comes to achieving the impossible despite disability.

Mallick’s handicap did not come on his way of becoming an expert mechanic handling a range of equipments desperately needing repairs and maintenance. This is something even a trained service engineer would find tough to handle.

This expertise has made locals queue up for his service when it comes to repairing their expensive household electronic appliances.

A self-trained and self-made man, Premananda never looked up for any government assistance to earn a livelihood or pursue his passion for machines.

The trauma of losing his legs right from childhood to the deadly polio was compounded when he lost his parents to prolonged illness. He presently lives with his elder brother and sister-in-law and adds up the family income by repairing electronic home appliances.

"I am physically challenged since birth. I thought I should do something at home which can make me self-reliant. I started off by repairing all types of electronic gadgets, which gave me satisfaction and a living too," Mallick said.

Premanand’s feat is an inspiration for people in the neighbourhood.  "Premananda is a known figure in our locality in spite of his disabilities. He began with repairing mobile phones, TV and fan and later honed the skills to repair any kind of electronic item. Though he is unable to walk, he’d avail service at doorstep," said Rabindra Barik, a local.

A similar example can be traced to Saraswati Kuanar of Khunta area in Mayurbhanj district. She too was afflicted by polio from childhood and lost her ability to walk. However, she overcame all odds to become the bread winner for her family by making different household articles from bamboo.

"I have the will to earn for my family unlike others with similar problems who resort to begging. I want to lead a life with dignity for which I work throughout the day to make bambo baskets and other materials. I sell my products in the local market. I never felt like surrendering to the physical limits," said Kuanar.

Many more like her in the neighbourhood have similar tales to tell. But, the thread that joins them all is the unputdownable spirit of standing on the ground despite all odds by overcoming adversaries.