Mangal Rokaya reinvents itself
A self-determined life despite polio thanks to income generation
THIS IS MANGAL’S STORY | Mangal was born healthy. He started walking when he was 12 months old. Today Mangal is 26 years old, he comes from a family that works as a day laborer in agriculture high up in the Mugu mountains.
SUDDENLY EVERYTHING IS DIFFERENT | His mother reports that as a toddler he suddenly had a fever, then was weak and often cried. Weeks passed before the parents realized that he could no longer stand. They did not know about the disease “polio”, until Mangal was about 5 years old that someone told them about it. Mangal went to school like all other children and finished the 10th grade. Nothing was too much for his family, they carried him there every day so that he could even go to class.
NO WAY OUT | Then it was over. The way to higher secondary school was just too far. Even today he is sad when he says: “I was very disappointed when I had to drop out of school. I cried quietly for several days. Then I accepted it. It was my fate. “
Mangal’s father adds: “He stared at young people on the village street who were in the 11th grade. We couldn’t help him. We also had to work. The school was too far away in the mountains and he couldn’t walk on his own. It was just too much. “
His parents report that Mangal spent the years after dropping out of school in the village with his large family (13 members). Of course, they noticed how creative he was. He collected old and discarded things: padlocks, flashlights, radios, radio batteries, old umbrellas and shafts, metal ribs and handles. Whatever he got his hands on, he tried with great patience to repair it.
EXPANDABLE | Our sponsorship coordinator Dil heard on his trip to Dumana how Mangal was trying to repair a radio.
“He had a small toolbox that he assembled himself. Incredible! The box contained old nails, screws and a screwdriver that he had made from the end of an umbrella metal shaft. He always volunteers to repair anything that breaks in the village. And he was already repairing solar lights in the village of Hyanglu, ”reported Dil, touched. Back to Life immediately decided to support Mangal in the sense of “helping people to help themselves”.
THE TRAINING | “I would be more than happy to have some real training on how to repair electronic equipment,” Mangal told Dil. It was not so easy to find a suitable course in Mugu, but luckily an electronics store in the small capital Gamgadhi agreed to give him individual training. With our financial support, Mangal received a 3-month repair course and we paid for his accommodation in Gamgadhi.
This makes an important dream come true for the young man: to have the chance to earn his own living in the future and to be able to lead a self-determined life despite physical limitations.
A GOOD PLAN | “Now I can professionally repair cell phones, radios and other electronic devices. I am opening my own business with repair shop in Majhchaur. It will be the first shop of its kind in the whole area and I will therefore have enough customers, ”he tells us very optimistically.
Mangal has a good plan that is sure to work. To help him get started, Back to Life provides him with appropriate tool kits for repairing the devices.
We wish him all the best and will certainly have one or the other repaired by him.