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I am Symbol of Hope and Optimism​

I am Bali born in family where life has remained a challenge every day. I was born with orthopedic impairment in a poor, rural household. Yet, my parents did everything possible for me to grow up as an educated individual along with two of my sisters. At the age of 22, I am a graduate. With my father gone at a very young age, it was my mother and elder sisters who raised me up and shaped me to be an individual I am today.

The stigma that a family faces when a child with disability is born can not be explained in words. My mother and sisters should be saluted to keep their strength to fight the society and survive in extremely difficult circumstances. With my father gone, my mother was forced to work as a labour to feed us. With meagre resources to survive, a disabled child and head of family passing away, the story of my family is a courageous one.

With education, I was always looking for opportunities to be independent. There was always a hope that one day I will also be able to support others like me who should not go through the same ordeal I had to, in absence of information, support and resources. And when I got an opportunity to work with Naman, I grabbed that opportunity.

My work with Naman not only got me recognition in society, I am also able to earn for the work I do in terms of forming self help groups. I also got a financial loan to buy a sewing machine to start my own tailoring work which I am using to earn additional income. With an income of Rs. 60 thousand a year, I am growing confident and hopeful every day. With Naman’s work, I also got a standing in community as this is my opportunity to pull many others from the vicious cycle of poverty and disability.

However, this is just the beginning! I see all that I am doing just as a stepping stone. I am hopeful that my work will grow and one day I will emerge as a voice of persons with disabilities on a national platform. And when that happens, no one else will be forced to live a life of hopelessness in absence of information and resources.