A debt-ridden farmer who has been using a wooden stump since he lost a leg 40 years ago got a spark to his life on Saturday. Thanks to a social media campaign and the efforts of the Uttar Pradesh government, Devraj Yadav walked off with a prosthetic leg.
Yadav lost a leg to gangrene following a minor injury after a bull attacked him. Living in abject poverty, Yadav could not afford proper medical treatment at that time, resulting in amputation. Since then, he had been cultivating his four bigha land in Baberu in Banda district with the help of a wooden stump.
Earlier this month, Ashish Sagar, a social activist in Banda, who was passing by Yadav’s field on his motorcycle early this month, saw the farmer work.
“I saw this man, elderly and frail, cultivating the field with oxen pulled plough. I noticed that the man had one leg missing, but had a wooden stump fastened to his waist-cloth as a contraption sufficing as leg. I took pictures on my camera. I could not even gather courage at that time to speak to the man. But learnt that he had been doing this for last 40 years and was under debt of a private money lender,” Sagar said.
The picture that Sagar posted on his Facebook wall went viral, drawing the attention of Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, who asked the social welfare officer at Banda to bring Yadav to Lucknow.
The government acted and within days, the farmer got a ‘Jaipur leg’ prosthesis and a financial aid of Rs 5 lakh.