At a time when the government is considering an increase in the number of physical-disability categories from seven to 19, paving the way for more “Divyang Jan” (disabled people) to avail of special privileges, the story of Nilesh Pargee seems to be an aberration.
Denied assistance from the government, Nilesh, 20, has found an innovative way to win over paraplegia with just two cycle wheels and a wooden stick.
Born in a tribal family, Nilesh has been bright in studies and wanted to pursue graduation in science. In 2014, he cleared his Class 12 board exam in first division with a distinction in chemistry. “Five years back, I built my own ride using two bicycle wheels and a wooden stick. I have even appeared for my Class 10 and 12 board exams using this device, hoping that people would take a note of my plight and inform the administration. But nothing happened.”
He, however, chooses not to blame the government for his plight and believes one should be able to take care of himself. “We should try to overcome our disabilities on our own, before blaming others,” Nilesh, a resident of Nachankhedi village under Meghnagar development block of Jhabua district, said.
“After Class 12, I wanted to take admission in a science college at Jhabua, but it was 25-km from my village and covering such a long distance for a person like me was not possible,” the 20-year-old said.
“I approached the government and officials for an “e-Rickhaw” under any of beneficiary schemes, but in vain. Helpless, I decided to take admission in diploma in education at a college in Meghnagar, about eight-kilometre from my native village,” Nilesh added.
His father Kalusingh, a peon in a government department, said Nilesh doesn’t want to depend on any one. “To earn his livelihood, he plans to start his own confectionery shop in a village,” Kalusingh said.
Local BJP leader Rajmal Padiyar agreed Nilesh was denied his dues. “I’ve seen how Nilesh approached ministers and district collector in the past three years, but all he got was verbal assurance.”
When contacted, local MP and Congress leader Kantilal Bhuria said Nilesh’s case shows that the deserving ones do not get their due. He assured to take the matter to the district collector and extend financial help from MP’s fund, if possible.
District collector Ashish Saxena, who has assumed charge recently, said Nilesh will be benefited as per norms soon.