Baipariguda: “Disability need not be an obstacle to success,” Stephen Hawking wrote in the first ever world disability report in 2011.
Dukhu Majhi, 30, of Dumuriguda in Chandrapada panchayat of this block in Koraput district has proved that disability is just a state of mind.
Dukhu’s agony began after his mother passed away when he was only six-year-old. His father and elder sisters took care of him. However, his suffering was not to end there.
At the age when he just began going to school, he was affected by polio which left him paralysed for life. Moreover, due to his disability, no one wants to marry him.
His disability has not held him back. Overcoming all hurdles, Dukhu is living a life of dignity and prestige. He doesn’t believe in begging and depending on others. Apart from taking the responsibility of his family, he has won hearts for helping fellow people like him, who are illiterate and ignorant, to avail benefits of government-sponsored schemes.
The district administration had provided a tricycle to Dukhu, five years back. Making proper use of this, Dukhu goes from place to place and sells puffed rice (mudi) for a living. He has a good customer base due to his generosity and kind words.
Every day he visits villages and sells mudi. He also visits houses and discusses with people about their problems and helps them get government scheme benefits. He is also involved in many development programmes in his village.
“It is difficult for a disabled man like me to travel from place to place on a tricycle. But, it is my responsibility to take care of my family. So, I don’t want to resort to begging. I want to live a life of dignity,” Dukhu says when asked what makes him keep going.
Locals sympathised with him as a lot of travelling over the rough roads had damaged his tricycle. They demanded a scooty, meant for the disabled, for him as it would boost his morale and enable him to do his job efficiently.