The plight of a physically challenged rickshaw puller

  • poverty issues
- SHANKAR ACHARYA, Parsa

Aug 15, 2015-

Thirty-eight-year-old Jitendra Paswan, a physically challenged man from Malangawa-4 in Sarlahi, makes a living as a rickshaw puller in the streets of Birgunj since the past decade.

Paswan also sustains his five-member family with the mere income. But Paswan has a dream, he yearns to one day have a riskhaw of his own.

The rikshaw puller is short and has a stooped body. He has a hump on his shoulder, and lumps of fat on his chest and backbone. But that has prevented Paswan to pull his rented rickshaw.

“Customers appreciate my hard work and often pay additional fare. I have learnt to pull rickshaw and will work till my health condition allows me,” said Paswan.

Paswan married four years ago. He has his wife, parents and brother at home. His brother also pulls a rickshaw in Malangwa.

Paswan says he sends around Rs 13,000 to his home every month. Apart from two khattas of farmland in Siraha, the family does not own any other property.

The rikshaw puller was physically challenged by birth.

“I am satisfied with what God provided me,” said Paswan, adding that he will work until his hands and feet let him. When visiting the hospital, Paswan said the doctor told him that he would never be physically fit.

Paswan hires the rickshaw for Rs 80 a day from Bolbam garage and pulls it in the streets of Birgunj. “I am earning around Rs 600 daily,” said Paswan.

Unable to afford a room in Birgunj, Paswan usually sleeps in the garage, the streets or even in the rickshaw.

“We poor people cannot afford a proper place to sleep,” sighed Paswan, adding that he mostly falls asleep anywhere on his rickshaw after a long and tiring day of work.

Published: 16-08-2015 10:14

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