Disability is a special form of ability! | Milaap

Disability is a special form of ability!

Pattamundai, hearing this name people of Odisha think about lip-smacking fish. Pattamundai is surrounded by Brahmani River. It is the biggest market town in the whole of Kendrapara district.

In this busy town, I met a 33-year-old lady named Shanti. She was not just any ordinary lady. Disability is not inability. She proves this day in and day out. She is physically handicapped. She has both her foot twisted inwards. The last thing on earth a woman like her would choose is to do a job which would involve traveling especially walking. She is indeed one in a million, her profession basically revolves around traveling that too on foot.

She is a Field Officer of Gram Utthan. Every day she covers around 5000 square meters of distance by foot. She meets the borrowers from Monday to Saturday.She walks from village to village meeting borrowers, disbursing money, collecting repayments and a lot more work. Because of her leg, she cannot use a bicycle or a motorbike. Whereas for all other field officers motorbike is a must to cover their journey.

She is a very kind-hearted lady. She likes talking to me. She addresses me as ‘bhauni’ which means sister. She opened up to me, saying “ My family consists of me and my mother. My father died when I was young. Owing to my father’s death I had to quit studying and start working to support my family. I have a sister and a brother. Both of them well settled now.Now it's just me and my mother.” I asked her why she did not marry. She replied, “You know how this world works!”. I got all my answers.  I was quite attracted by the shoes she wore they were different from the shoes we wear. They were specially made according to the user’s requirement. She frowned and said “These shoes often need repairing. I have to travel to Kendrapada and sit at the shop over there to get the repairing done. I lose my day’s salary just to get them repaired. My feet are very painful during winters.”
She has been working as a field officer for a period of 13 years.She was posted in Madanpur for a period of 10 years. After that, she continues to work in Pattamundai. The disability in her legs doesn't stop her from walking long distances. She is an inspiration to millions. She proves nothing is impossible if you have the zeal to do it.