DISABLED BUT NOT DEFEATED | An unlikely victim of unrest, paralysed Pulwama man rebuilds his life

  • GULZAR BHAT
  • Publish Date: Jul 8 2019 3:18AM
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  • Updated Date: Jul 8 2019 3:18AM
DISABLED BUT NOT DEFEATED | An unlikely victim of unrest, paralysed Pulwama man rebuilds his lifePhoto: Kashmir Ink

In August 2016, during unrest the sound of a blast threw Arshad Ahmad Wani off balance from the roof of his house on to boulders in the backyard and badly injured his spine, disabling him waist down. 

After spending two months in hospitals, Wani, 34, was wheelchair bound and distraught.

“I thought I would never be back on my feet and worried how I could be able to feed my family,” Wani, a resident of Litter village outside Pulwama town said. 

He suffered bouts of depression for first few months but soon overcame and decided not to give up. 

“I resolved to fight back and not to let my wheelchair come in the way of my life.” 

Wani, a carpenter soon began thinking of setting up a woodwork unit.

Beset with financial troubles, one day in 2018, Wani dropped in on the Deputy Commissioner’s office in Pulwama to avail a loan. 

“The Deputy Commissioner not only liked my idea but also guided me,” Wani said, adding that he was sent to the District Industries and Commerece Department (DIC) where a loan of Rs 712,000 was granted to him.

In April, 2019 he erected a tin shed alongside his modest house and set up a bandsaw unit. 

“I already knew the job having worked at such units. I was good at making cabinets, doors and windows,” Wani said. 

Barely two months down the line he has four fulltime employees working at his unit, earning Rs 10-12 thousand per month and paying his employees between Rs 18000 and 7500 per month.

“Apart from making different designs of doors and windows, we also do some latticework.” 

Wani, however, says he is unable to make his own wooden items because he cannot afford to buy wood so he could make some more profit.

“I am not able to purchase the wood from market. I only work on the wood customers bring.” 

Wani is now looking to the government for providing subsidized timber to him hoping to do better.

“He did not let his disability cripple his or his family’s life. It is his dogged determination that brought him back on his feet economically,” said his neighbour Shabir Ahmad in appreciation.