Hyderabad: Stand on your own feet, this seems to be easier said than done, and when your legs are cut above the knees, it’s next to impossible. However, Prakash (40), did not let that break his soul. He swallowed his tears and ambitions but refused to give up.
Today, Prakash stands firm and straight. Thanks to the sophisticated German prosthesis legs, he can stand for hours, giving a clean shave to his customers, without feeling the strain. Acquiring this imported prosthesis legs costing Rs 2.2 lakh was beyond his means, if the Helping Hand Foundation, a city-based NGO, had not come to his rescue.
Prakash, who lives in Lakshminagar in Aliabad area of Old City, lost his legs when he was in his pre-teens. He was returning home from school when he met with an accident. A private bus coming from the opposite direction ran over both his legs. He was immediately rushed to the Osmania General Hospital with badly crushed legs. After three months of treatment, his legs were amputated – dashing all his hopes of ever becoming a police officer.
When the going gets tough, the tough get going. And that is what happened. A determined Prakash pursued his education by going to school on a wheelchair. But with his father dead, he found it difficult to continue studies beyond Class 10. It fell on his mother to look after his two younger siblings and a sister.
“I wanted to do something on my own, but my disability came in my way”, recalls Prakash. For sometime, he operated a PCO under the disability quota but the advent of mobile phones snatched away this livelihood. A desperate Prakash then made a clear-cut career choice – he turned a hairdresser. He worked in a hair saloon near Asha Talkies in Shalibanda, but found it difficult to stand for long on the Jaipur leg fitted by the government hospital as it was heavy. He had to often sit down while working and this affected his business.
However, one day, things changed for the better when a man brought his child for haircut. The boy was wearing an artificial prosthesis on one of his hand. Prakash made enquiries and got the address of Mujtaba Hasan Askari of Helping Hand Foundation, an NGO which extends medical aid to the poor and needy.
Ever ready to help, Askari immediately arranged for the German prosthesis legs for Prakash. After undergoing trial on the new advanced device, the latter is back on his legs. And now he is able to stand for two to three hours, since these prosthetic legs are much lighter than the conventional ones.
Never the one to lose hope, Prakash is a relieved man now. All he wants is to see his son fulfill his dream of becoming a police officer. But a dream doesn’t become a reality just like that – it takes sweat, determination and hard work.