Nearly 17 years ago Jitendra Verma, a differently-abled resident of Varanasi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s parliamentary constituency, was paralyzed below the waist after he fell from the roof but he did not give up. A few days later, he started working on a sewing machine and is now pursuing the dream of a 'Self-reliant India.'
The man who broke the myth of the differently-abled being dependent on help from others, not only nurtures his family by working on the sewing machine with his hands, but was also in the forefront of making masks which have been given free of cost to hundreds of people during the corona pandemic. He supported other people and showed a mirror to society which considers the differently-abled as helpless.
He also suffered a brain stroke after paralysis. In spite of this, he started using a sewing machine with his hands and eked out a living for his family.
During the corona pandemic, Jitendra set an example, distributing free masks to many people to fight the infection. He is engaged in realizing Prime Minister Modi's dream of a 'Aatmanirbhar India.'
Jitendra, a resident of Hiramanpur village in Varanasi district, told IANS, "The spinal cord was damaged after falling off the roof in 2003. Half of my body was paralyzed yet I continued working lying in bed. The doctors said that I won't be able to stand on my feet again but I pledged to keep the spirit high."
Admitted in a hospital for the last one-and-a-half months, Jitendra is supported by wife Jyoti. She encouraged him at every step which boosted his morale and he started stitching clothes with his hands.
Initially, Jitendra was slow at sewing, but now he works easily for five to six hours a day. He takes the measurements of the customers' clothes from his bed or wheelchair. He sews the clothes and irons them, too.
Jitendra says God has bestowed him the skill to help him fulfill his resolve to become self-sufficient. The Self-reliant India' initiative by the government has been a blessing in disguise for him as he now intends to set up a small factory. Life, he adds, will be blessed if he can help other families, too.
Jyoti said that she sold her jewellery for her husband's treatment. At that time, her only child was too small. She was faced with the twin challenge of taking care of the child and her husband but now life has turned around.
Central Advisory Board Disability Empowerment member Dr Uttam Ojha said, "A few months ago Jitendra was given a motorized tri-cycle. He was able to get out of the house after many years. Help was also provided to him during the corona pandemic. The task to provide them employment is in progress."
Ghanshyam Patel, head of Hiramanpur village, says, "Jitendra Varma is a handicapped person. Despite this, he does the stitching. We help him by getting our clothes stitched by him. There is an effort at the gram panchayat level to provide all facilities to him.".