Portraits from the street: Cuttack
While hunting the streets of Cuttack to find stories that are worth being told, we came across this wheelchair bound man whose spirit still flies high.
Raghu Bhanja, 56, a former rickshaw puller tells us his story.
“My son kicked me out when I couldn’t pull the rickshaw anymore. It was after the tuberculosis treatment that I couldn’t move my legs.”
He paused for a moment, lost in his thoughts and then continued, “I was broken. Didn’t have a jobless phase ever, you see? I was hungry. Now I have to live on roads”.
He looked at me with tears in his eyes, “My sister got me these wheels so that I can go around. There wasn’t any option left for me but to beg. It is not a life I wanted. There’s no dignity in it. I want to move my legs, my rickshaw”.
“Did you approach the hospital?”
“Yes. The medicines are costly and I don’t have any money. Only if I could get some help and get back on my feet.”
I was looking at him, blank faced, taking in the pain and the fortitude, all at once.
“I want to help others like me, from whatever I earn. I want to help”.
There was hope in his eyes, determination to live through the odds and to earn back what he had lost. We bought him a few packets of biscuits and he took them with gratitude, but reluctantly, further proving how much he wanted to not depend on others.
Nobody needs superpowers to be a hero. Sometimes, you just need to live through your own battle.
[Story and Photo Courtesy: Abhipsa Anamika]