When Mahadev Patil, a 39-year-old farmer, felt the government was not doing enough for people with disabilities, he yanked his cycle of its stand, and decided to set off on an expedition across the country.
Patil is not to one to stay at home at sulk over his polio-stricken legs. He knew he had a message to spread — that terrorism and AIDS both won’t go without a fight.
Patil began his journey from Karnad in Maharashtra on November 25 and has already covered Goa and Karnataka. He is now on his way to Thiruvananthapuram to meet Kerala Chief Minister VS Achuthanandan.
"The government has come up with a lot of legislations for the handicapped. But they remain on paper. It is the charitable institutions and some social welfare organisations which manage to get all the benefits," Patil said.
Patil, who reached Goa on November 30, said it took him five days to meet Goa Chief Minister Pratap Singh Rane. He also met Karnataka Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy on his birthday.
Patil grows rice and jowar in the two acre-land that he shares with his brother. Though he desperately tried to get a government job after completing his Class 12, he did not succeed, Patil said.