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July 30, 2016

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  KUMBHA:  FARMER, PARALYSED BY POLIO, FIRED BY WILL
Kumbha, Vellamunda, Wayanad

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Kumbha has faced life squarely all her life.  With both legs paralised since birth, she has relied on the strength of her hands (and will) to move from place to place .  But that does not prevent her from weaving dreams even when her hair has turned grey.

She was recently felicitated by the Agriculture Office, Vellamunda for her contribution to agriculture.  It is the first recognition she has received in her life.  She cultivates  all kinds of vegetables like yam, cucumber etc.  The earnings from the cultivation sustain her life.

Her both legs were paralysed below the waist since birth.  But she was determined not to be an encumbrance to anyone.  She would gather water from the distant well and bring it to the farm on her head.  With one hand anchored on the ground, she would use the other to turn the earth.  Further she would gather firewood from the forest to keep her hearth burning.

The entry of Kunkan, her husband, into her life and the birth of their son Raju produced a brief spell of happiness.  But it soon transpired that he was suffering from heart-valve ailment.  Six years ago, Kunkan died and she was left with her son.  Owing to financial constraints she could not teach Raju beyond Plus Two.

Though she receives the pension for physically challenged persons, that amount isnít sufficient for anything.  After undergoing two surgeries in two years, her body isnít as responsive to her mind as she wishes.  Her Herculean, though unknown struggle, continues in the ooru of adivasis with just a handful of witnesses.

 

 

Courtesy:  Mathrubhumi, May 22, 2016

"You have to dream before your dreams come true."