Paralysed youth from Kasaragod plans solo Ladakh trip by car

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K Rakesh

Poinachi: A solo Ladakh trip of a youth with a paralysed body may sound hard to believe. But, Kasaragod native Rakesh, who was spending his past 13 years on a wheel chair, is determined to set out to Kashmir in his Nano car challenging his paralytic condition. Though he has financial constraints for the trip, Rakesh has decided to commence the one-month-long journey on October 10 from his native Poinachi.

The incident which toppled down his life happened at the age of 24, while working as an employee at a salon in Sharjah. He could not move his legs all of a sudden when he woke up in the morning to head to work as usual. His body below waist was paralysed. He returned to his native on the same day night as he could not bear the treatment charge at the hospitals in UAE. It was only on the tenth day he was diagnosed with vertebral tumour.

Following surgery at Thiruvananthapuram Medical College, he pursued treatment at Sree Chitra Cancer Centre for years. When he returned home, Rakesh was unwilling to confine himself inside his house destined to his fate.

A three tyre scooter was bought with Rs 50,000 he received from NORKA’s expatriate welfare programme. Special arrangements were made by fixing a car seat on the scooter with the help of his friends. By this, he could sell lottery tickets and earn a livelihood.

Later, he bought a Nano car and modified it as per the guidelines of All Kerala Wheel Chair Rights Federation. The brake, clutch and accelerator were altered in a way that it could be operated using hands. He soon obtained a licence, which is issued to physically challenged candidates.

Rakesh has estimated an expense of Rs 2 lakh for the Ladakh trip. He has requested financial help and sponsorship through social media to fulfill his dream journey.

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