Srinagar, Apr 17: At a time when most of the handicapped persons become a burden on their families or resort to begging, a man from Srinagar is inspiring hundreds of handicapped persons to stand on their own legs and live a better life.
Mohammad Rafee (35) a resident of Lawaypora area of Srinagar despite being disabled has reached to national level in wheelchair basketball and started a general store to earn livelihood.
Rafee while talking to news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) that he was having facial hemangioma by birth and despite surgeries and other treatments, he wasn’t successful in any way to get relief from hemangioma.
“I was already facing a lot of problems due to hemangioma and in 2010 during the construction of the house, I fell down from the roof of my house causing severe injuries to my spinal cord and confined my movement to bed only,” he said. “Later I visited Shafqat Rehabilitation Centre for around three years, where a wheelchair was bought for me following which I started using a wheelchair.”
At rehabilitation centre he was introduced to fun games and later basketball following which he started learning basketball.
“I started learning basketball and after playing at state level and in 2015, 1 along with 7 others went to chennai for a wheelchair basketball workshop and in the same year we participated for the first time for Nationals in Delhi,” he said.
“I got an opportunity to play at national level five times that includes first national at Delhi in 2015 followed by Chennai 2016, Hyderabad 2017, Erode Tamil Nadu 2018 and Mohali Punjab 2019.”
He said: “These tournaments were organised by Wheelchair basketball federation of India where teams won many medals.”
“Currently I am working at my own general store at Lawaypora Srinagar so as to earn livelihood beside that I am working with an NGO to help and guide all those persons who are facing problems like me,” Rafi said.
“I have been guiding such patients on how to get rid of bed sore, neurogenic pains and other issues as I have experienced such things,” he said. “I teach and try to help them in the reorientation of life after Disability. I also make them aware of appropriate assistive devices, home modifications, bedsores, and other different and associated problems they face.”
He said persons having disabilities must accept their disability and they must understand that they too can live a rewarding life.”They must understand the purpose of life and work to fulfill their dreams, though their ways may be different,” he said—(KNO)