Cycling 15-odd kilometres under the scorching summer sun is a thankless task for any person and doubtlessly even more so for a wheelchair-bound man.
Manik Sarkar of the Jiaganj-Bhelladanga area of Murshidabad, continues to make light of his physical disability as he rides his specially designed tricycle to attend the election rallies of Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee.
Sarkar, it appears, has been attending almost every meeting of the Trinamool chief across the district, and keeping up with the norm, he was among the cheering multitude at Banerjee’s show of strength at Bhagabangola on Friday.
Owner of a small grocery store at Jiaganj, Sarkar said, “I was crippled by polio when I was two years old and couldn’t walk thereafter. I have no sensation in my legs from knee to foot. However, I never let my disability affect my work. I seek inspiration from Mamata Banerjee’s relentless fight against the Left Front and corruption.”
“I have been associated with the Trinamool since its inception. No other leader in the country is as honest as Mamata Banerjee. Her honesty and integrity inspired me to defy my physical disability and work for Trinamool,” said the father of one daughter.
A volunteer at Banerjee’s rally on Friday, Sarkar said, “It was only because of the negligence of the health department of the ruling Left Front government that my legs became redundant. I don’t want the same to happen to someone else. I want to see Didi as the next chief minister. I am sure she would do a lot for the health and education sectors.”
“I never miss any of Mamatadi’s rallies in Murshidabad. Till date, I have been travelling to every corner of the district to hear her speak, despite the stress involved. I had to cover about 15-odd kilometres from my place to Didi’s meeting at Bhagabangola today. It was tough cycling under the scorching sun, but I don’t mind taking the trouble to hear Didi speak,” said Sarkar.
He said he commuted as far as Sealdah by train to be a part of Banerjee’s rally at Brigade. “I have two to three meetings at Brigade. I travelled to Sealdah by train and covered the rest on my cycle. The police tried to block my way on many occasions, but couldn’t stop me,” said Sarkar.
A Trinamool nominee at the recent Jiaganj civic polls, Sarkar said, “I am in favour of the alliance with the Congress.”