Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jul 26:
Despite being differently-abled, this Odisha boy has been able to jump the hurdles on his way to continue his study for a bright and dignified life.
D Munna (20) hails from Pital village under Seragarh Block in Ganjam district and works as a part-time cobbler in the city to meet ends. The young boy’s determination and struggle for existence has set an example for others to follow.
He was afflicted with polio when he was just two years old and has been unable to walk ever since as both his lower limbs have been affected. He took to cobbling during his intermediate days, a choice made to meet his educational expenses.
After completing his matriculation, he took admission in Plus II at Acharya Harihar Mahavidyalaya in Chandrasekharpur area in the city. Though his parents paid the initial expenses towards admission and other fees, they defaulted on the subsequent dues which prompted Munna to look out for options to eke out a living. After much deliberation, he decided to take up the job of a cobbler in the area where his father had set up shop in the capital city before returning to his village due to failing health.
After passing out from the junior college, he took admission in undergraduate course in Arts discipline at Rajdhani College here. He is a student of political science in Plus III second year in the college.
With him moving to a different institution in the city, he shifted his makeshift shop from Chandrasekharpur area to Baramunda Bus Terminal. However, the transition wasn’t smooth as he faced stiff resistance from the shopkeepers.
Nevertheless, the members of autorickshaw union in the bus stop came to his rescue and provided him a little space to set up his outlet.
Munna attends lectures in the college thrice a week. Except these days, he leaves for his workplace on a tricycle by 9 am and winds up his work by sundown.
“On a working day, I earn around Rs 50-60. As a Trust has provided free accommodation to me at Unit V area in the city, I only pay Rs 1000 a month for food. My father is no more capable of supporting me financially. So, I have no other option than to work as a cobbler. Working out in the open is especially difficult during monsoons. I will be grateful if I am provided with a shed in the vending zones or elsewhere,” Munna said in a choked voice.
Besides completing the college assignments, he also prepares for competitive examinations to get into a government job.
“I had appeared for examination for Railways and Postal department jobs recently. I am not worried about the results. I would continue my endeavour till I succeed,” he added.