A vegetable grocer Mr. Shohidul Islam (55) of Kalihati Upazela in Tangail district, was affected by gangrene on foot-finger. He took treatment from local doctors and getting no result, went to Dhaka Orthopedic Hospital in 2007. He was provided treatment for one year but got no improvement. Finally doctors cut off his right side leg to save other parts of the body. Since then Shohidul became permanently disabled. At present he is living in a rented house in Zirani area of Savar Upazela with his wife and one daughter. Another two daughters and two sons got married and live separately.
Shohidul lost all his capitals and assets to bear the cost of treatment. But to manage a three members’ family, he had no way without work. He then used to pull rickshaw for the sake of living. But it was very difficult to drive a rickshaw by single leg. Since he had only one leg, rickshaw owners did not rent him an auto-rickshaw. Thus he could earn a little than auto-rickshaw pullers which was not enough to bear the house rent and other expenses of the family. Sometimes he could not drive the rickshaw and had to beg money. Those were very hard days for him. Shohidul was disregarded by the society. People used to call him ‘Lengra’ (lame). He was excluded from the social events even he could not go to relatives’ home. Shohidul heard about artificial limb establishment, but did not know where to go. He knew that it was very expensive. He asked someone to help him to get an artificial limb, but nobody cared. In such a state, Shohidul and his family passed 10 years of intolerable sufferings.
In January 2017 during a disability survey, VASD staff Mr. Abdul Halim met him and took him into the disability development program. Shohidul saw the ray of hope and was waiting for the day when he would be able to walk again as a typical man can do. VASD organised an artificial limb establishment camp for some of the mobility impaired persons with the support of CDD in June 2017. Then the long expected day came to Shohidul. An artificial limb was established on his leg for free of cost. He was also provided one pair of nice shoes and a startup capital of Taka 3,000. On that day Shohidul became a changed man. He says, “I could not believe that I would be able to move freely again. I can, walk even run as a natural human being. Within that weak, I hired an Auto-rickshaw.” Shohidul is very busy now; he earns Taka 500 – 700 a day. His sufferings ended with an artificial limb. His daughter goes again to school, who is in class eight. Shohidul owns a mobile phone now. He again says emotionally, “I went my father-in-law’s home after 10 years. Everyone was surprised and happy to see me. Nobody calls me ‘lengra’ any more. I owe to VASD and CDD for giving me this new life and dignity.”