We had a chat with Manjunath about his life experiences and association with DEAL Foundation.
Hello Manjunath, I would like to talk to you a little about your disability and how it has impacted your life. Is this a good time to talk?
Sure, now is as good time as any other.
At the outset, would you like to share with us a little about your disability?
Sure, before I do that, I would like to whole heartedly thank DEAL Foundation for its wonderful services to the disabled community. Now let me start by telling you that I have gone through a lot as a child. Born to parents who are daily wage earners, I come from a poor and very humble background. I suffered the loss of my left arm due to an accident.
As a child, I was very outgoing, eager and enthusiastic like most children that age. While I was in class one, I along with my friends was out playing, all of us were attempting to get on top of a structure which was over ten feet high with a help of a rope. There were six of us. This is when disaster struck. The rope gave way and all of us came down with a big thud. Being the last in the row, I ended up bearing the brunt of the fall with the weight of five people on top of me. The impact of the fall was so strong that my left arm was broken in to three parts. Despite receiving immediate attention at KIMS hospital at Hubli, my severed arm could not be saved and had to be amputated which left me disabled for life.
How has your condition affected you?
is always a lot of mental anguish and a constant sense of foreboding. However, I have increasingly come to terms with my situation, whereas my family are yet to come to terms with it. They anguish that my abnormality shouldn’t be seen and always insist me to keep it covered. I have continued to persist with this inadequacy. I’m very grateful and reassured for the help and support and counselling I have received from staff at DEAL Foundation.
I’m eagerly looking forward to using a prosthetic arm which is being designed for me by DEAL Foundation. I have refused all offers of help this far, but now I understand that having a prosthetic aid could help improve the quality of my life. This has certainly brought in new hope and a wave of optimism.
So how are you engaged currently?
I currently help run a small local store vending cool drinks and other beverages. This helps me sustain myself and my family.
With the new prosthetic device, It will be as if I will get wings. I look forward to setting up my own store with the help and support of DEAL Foundation and the active encouragement of my fellow peers within my joint liability group.
Due to lack of and appropriate help and support, I was just able to attend school till class nine. While I may not have the much needed academic education, I think I have developed the practical skills required to get on in life and make a success of it.
Finally what is your opinion about the work of DEAL Foundation?
I have found the work of the foundation to be invaluable. Without this, and without the help of role models introduced to me by DEAL, I would have been left wallowing in self-pity.
I would like to join DEAL Foundation in their efforts to build individual and community resilience and create sustainable livelihoods for persons with disabilities. I see my association with DEAL as a volunteer continuing to make a difference to the people living around me.
I would also like to thank you for your time and wish you all the best for your future.