Disabled man rides auto for a living; Rules say don't drive without permit
Kanjirappally: Tajudeen was not ready to give up on life though polio left him disabled when he was just three-year-old. He fought back and started to lead a decent life like everyone else.
It was then the law came as a stumbling block. The 40-year-old has been earning a living by riding an auto rickshaw for the past 21 years.
He looked after his family comprising his mother, wife and three children with the money earned through this. His ailing mother used to carry him to the auto rickshaw every day.
Since both his legs were disabled, his auto was fitted with a brake system which can be controlled by hand. But he does not have a driving licence. However, Tajudeen never caused any accidents.
He had got a learner’s licence in 2002. But now Kanjirappally panchayat introduced permit for all auto and taxi vehicles. Since Tajudeen does not have a licence, he did not get a permit. Some labour unions also opposed Tajudeen driving auto without permit. With this, the only source of income for this family has been blocked.
“I don’t want to beg for help from anybody. That’s why I learned driving,” Tajudeen said, seeking support from others to continue his job.
The motor vehicle officials said that though he can be given licence for driving his own vehicle, he cannot be given licence to drive vehicle that carry passengers.
He used to run a stationary shop here, but that was closed due to loss. The family lives in a house built with the help of friends and locals.
The only income of the family now is the Rs 1000 disability pension received by Tajudeen and money earned by his mother Ayisha doing some outdoor works.