An artificial limb; a life with dignity

71 years old Ashraf Ali Mia was a poor grocer in Nanchi village of Gopalpur Upazela in Tangail district. He lost one of his legs at the consequence of a road accident in 2001. Then he became disabled and impaired from his normal life. He lost all his capitals and the grocery shop for the treatment of his leg. Being assetless and physically impaired, he had no other option to choose any means than begging to bear a two members’ family. His wife was also old in age and could not help him. Both of them were used to beg from dawn to dusk on the street to bear their livelihoods.

It was very indecent life for them with disrespect and neglect from the society. People used to call him ‘Lengra Asharaf (lame)’ and showed a mercy by giving a little amount of money while begging. From the sense of self-respect, Ashraf Ali left his own village and came to Ashulia area near Dhaka. They were living in a rented tiny hut in Ashulia.

In 2007, Asharf Ali came into the observation of VASD and was enrolled as a beneficiary of the Disability Development Program of the organization. Ashraf expressed his wish to come out of this indecent life and live as a usual human being. He was than included in the artificial limb establishment program jointly organised by VASD and CDD. In June 2017, Ashraf Mia’s dream came into reality. An artificial limb changed him as a natural man from a disabled person. He can move, walk and run easily. He is no more physically impaired.

After establishment of an artificial limb, VASD provided him training on Entrepreneurship development and a startup capital of Taka 3000. With the money, he started a tea stall in Kabirpur. Now he earns 400 – 500 taka every day. He shifted his living home to improved one, bought mobile phone and communicates with the relatives. Sometimes he wonders around the township with his wife. People respectfully call him Ashraf bhai and do not call `Lengra’. Thus with an artificial limb, he gained a dignified life. Ashraf is no more disappointed or anxious about his life.