Joychandra: Enjoying the joy of earning a livelihood
Dr Romen Huidrom
IMPHAL | Mar 20
There are differently abled persons who are fighting against all odds to live a normal life despite of all the hindrances they faced being physically disabled.
One such example of these genuinely gutsy people which provides a great source of inspiration for everyone is Konsam Joychandra Meitei, 24, a resident of Nungchup Kameng Awang Leikai under Lamshang police station of Imphal West district.
Born with deformed legs, Joychandra Meitei is the eldest son of poor farmer parents K Thoiba Meitei and Leimahal Leima. With his two elder sisters already married off while his two brothers are still studying, Joychandra is supporting his family by trying to meet the basic requirements of day-to-day life.
To empower himself for landing gainful employment, he underwent a handloom and handicraft training programme at an institute located at Sagolband, Imphal four years ago. Subsequently, he produced different handloom and handicraft items which were exhibited at various melas organised in the state. He used to earn an income of Rs 30000 annually from selling his products. However, this sum of money was inadequate to meet the needs of his family.
As the income was no more reliable, he began looking out for other job options including self-employment. He specially designed a tricycle in which eatables and other various grocery items could be carried around conveniently for selling. To sell his wares, Joychandra travels around on the tricycle which has betel nut-leaves, packed foods and other eatable items hanging on it as done in a small road-side shop. He travels in and around the Imphal city like a mobile shop to sell his items.
Rotating the tricycle with his hands and travelling around for selling consumable goods has served him as an exercise to maintain his physical fitness. This has helped him to participate in various state level games and sports competitions for differently abled persons where he won several awards.
Speaking to Imphal Free Press, Joychandra stated that our society is full of people who mock on seeing the disability of a person instead of feeling empathy for helping and supporting the differently abled persons.
However, this has not disheartened him and in finding a means to live a normal life, he started the mobile shop for selling essential items that could be available in any neighborhood shop. Stating that it is an easy means for earning for him, Joychandra said he sells for around Rs 500 to 1000 in a day with which he is supporting the family and the studies of his two little brothers. He is also trying to save as much as he can in the bank.
Not yet married, he is trying to earn as a normal person by avoiding the mocking and disrespectful nature of the people around him. He opined that instead of expecting that people will help and support them, differently abled persons should take their own decisions and work harder than any normal person do to live a normal and fruitful life.
He says that God has bestowed every person with different abilities and we should know our abilities and help ourselves and also other differently abled people.
In fear of the social stigma and discrimination, family members should not hide their children with disability instead we should socialize and support them and encourage them to take up appropriate training courses to help and employ themselves for their livelihood.
Instead of looking at the differently abled person as a different person, we should give respect and support them so that they can live a normal life in the society.
His story is not only inspirational to people having physical problems, but equally inspirational to those of us who feel life is worthless and gives up trying when the obstacles come on our way.