Sandip was 14 and studying in sixth grade when he was involved in a road traffic accident. The incident occurred as he was travelling by truck in Chitwan, a south-central district about 60 miles from Kathmandu, Nepal, a country where road accidents are the second most common cause of injury. Sandip was seriously injured and lost his left leg on the spot.
“I didn’t know my son was travelling with a truck driver that day. I thought he had gone to school,” Sandip’s mother, Sukumaya explains. “Doctors had to amputate his leg above the knee immediately to prevent further infection.”
Sandip drops out of school
“Sandip initially insisted we take him out of private school and move him to a community school instead, because private schools have stricter rules than community ones. He started missing school because he didn’t want to go. We only learned later that his real passion was to learn to drive a truck and earn money,” Sukumaya continued.
After the accident, Sandip had limited mobility and dropped out of school. Fortunately, Sandip’s family heard about an upcoming health screening camp in their community, providing different services for children with disabilities. These services were implemented by HI and its local partners as part of the Inclusive Futures Program.
HI helps Sandip understand the power of rehabilitation
After the health screening camp, Sandip was referred to the National Disabled Fund, HI’s partner, which provides rehabilitation services. The teenager was fitted with an artificial limb but he didn’t believe the prosthesis and rehabilitation sessions would help him walk again.
“Initially when we met Sandip, he wasn’t convinced by the idea of having rehabilitation care. He didn’t trust anyone. He didn’t even believe that an artificial limb and exercises would help him walk,” says Ramesh Baral, an Inclusion Officer working with HI. “During counselling, we showed him some videos of people with disabilities who have achieved milestones in their lives through rehabilitation care, like walking, going to school, working and dreaming big!”
The counselling helped Sandip understand and he appreciated the power of rehabilitation for his future. He regained hope and discovered how to realize his own potential.
Sandip gradually regains hope
Sandip is now learning quickly and is very determined. After four days with his new prosthetic limb, he already found it easy to walk by himself with the parallel bar. The process as a whole takes 15 days, with gait training for new users, including steps such as balancing, standing, weight shifting, sitting and rising from a chair, and going up and down stairs.
Shifting attitudes and transforming lives
Sandip’s parents now see a positive future for him. They have seen a change in their son’s attitude, and now Sandip smiles and shares his ambitions and his love of learning.
“Before the accident, I used to see all my friends playing football and other games. Having lost my leg, I was ashamed to go out or to school. I did not see myself going anywhere as I could not walk. As a result, I started staying home, playing games on my phone, and cutting myself off from the outside world,” Sandip explains. “Now, I want to read and get help to improve my mobility. I need to study hard so I can get a job and become independent. I have to turn my dreams into reality! Education is my new ambition. I want to study hard and qualify for jobs. I plan to open a mobile repair shop or start working after I complete my education.”
These activities are made possible by the United Kingdom government.