December 21, 2002  

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Biju, Kuruvila House, Hariharapuram, Varkala, Thiruvananthapuram

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He lost the normal use of legs when he was 1Ĺ due to polio.  Now when Biju, Kuruvila House, Hariharapuram, Varkala, Thiruvananthapuram dances with his hands as legs, in the upside down position, the folded legs act as symbols of the joy of living.

Dancing is not the only forte of this 23-year-old youth.  He is an expert climber, particularly fond of coconut trees.  Whatever the height of the tree, he will climb it in a thrice to pluck coconuts.  He does it not only for domestic purposes, but for his neighbours too.

Bijuís father abandoned the family while he was still a child.  His grandfather Vamadevan used to look after the mother and her 3 children.  Biju learned beedi-making while in school to help the family fight poverty. 

Seeing his plight, the school presented him with a hand-operated tricycle.  The mobility thus obtained became another opportunity for him.  He used to carry, morning and evening, milk from the neighbours to the cooperative society 4 km away.

During pepper season, Biju is in demand to pluck the produce without damaging the creepers.  Here too his expertise in climbing comes in handy.

After his grandfatherís death and the marriage of his elder sister, the family is living like tenants in the house that has been bequeathed as dowry.

An important item in the Arts Club anniversaries and Onam celebrations in the area is the dance by Biju.  The people are fond of watching his rhythmic upside down dance.

Despite many odds, he looks forward to life with a smiling approach.



Courtesy: K.Jayaprakash, Kerala Kaumudi, November 20, 2002

Contributed by: Administrator


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