Mohammad Rafee, a 35-year-old man from Lawaypora in the area of central Kashmir’s Srinagar city, is inspiring hundreds of handicapped persons to stand on their own legs and live a better life. Despite being disabled, Rafee has reached the national level in wheelchair basketball and has also started a general store to earn his livelihood.
Rafee was born with facial hemangioma, a condition that caused him to face a lot of problems from birth. Despite surgeries and other treatments, he was unable to get relief from the condition. In 2010, while he was helping with the construction of his house, he fell from the roof and suffered severe injuries to his spinal cord. This confined him to his bed, unable to move.
Later, Rafee visited the Shafqat Rehabilitation Centre for around three years, where a wheelchair was bought for him. This changed his life, as he was now able to move around and became introduced to fun games and later basketball, which he started learning.
“I started learning basketball and after playing at the state level, in 2015, I along with seven others went to Chennai for a wheelchair basketball workshop. In the same year, we participated for the first time in Nationals in Delhi,” said Rafee.
Since then, Rafee has had the opportunity to play at the national level five times, including at the first national in Delhi in 2015, followed by Chennai in 2016, Hyderabad in 2017, Erode in Tamil Nadu in 2018, and Mohali in Punjab in 2019. These tournaments were organised by the Wheelchair Basketball Federation of India, where teams won many medals.
Despite his success in sports, Rafee also recognized the importance of earning a livelihood. Currently, he runs his own general store in Lawaypora, Srinagar, to support himself financially. He works with an NGO to help and guide those who are facing problems similar to his own.
“I have been guiding such patients on how to get rid of bed sores, neurogenic pains, and other issues as I have experienced such things. I teach and try to help them in the reorientation of life after disability. I also make them aware of appropriate assistive devices, home modifications, bedsores, and other different and associated problems they face,” Rafee said.
Rafee’s inspiring story is one that highlights the importance of acceptance and resilience in the face of adversity. He encourages persons with disabilities to accept their conditions and understand that they too can live rewarding lives, despite their challenges.
“Persons having disabilities must accept their disability and they must understand that they too can live a rewarding life. They must understand the purpose of life and work to fulfil their dreams, though their ways may be different,” he added.
Through his actions, Rafee has become a role model for the disabled community, showing them that with hard work, dedication, and determination, anything is possible.
Rafee’s journey has not been an easy one, but he is determined to inspire and help others who are facing similar challenges. His story serves as a reminder that disability should not be a barrier to achieving one’s dreams and that with the right support and mindset, anything is possible.
According to statistics, around 15 per cent of the world’s population lives with some form of disability, and many of them face social, economic, and physical barriers that limit their opportunities. However, stories like Rafee’s show that disability does not have to define a person’s life and that they can overcome adversity and achieve greatness.
Rafee’s work with the NGO is particularly noteworthy as it demonstrates his commitment to giving back to his community and helping others. By sharing his experiences and knowledge, he is empowering others to live fulfilling lives and providing them with the tools and resources they need to overcome the challenges they face.
His story is an inspiration to all those who face adversity and a reminder that with resilience, determination, and the right support, anything is possible. His work is a testament to the power of community and the importance of empathy and understanding towards those who face different challenges in life.
After his accident, he faced a difficult time. He was unable to move and had to depend on his family for everything. But he didn’t let this defeat him. Instead, he found a new passion in wheelchair basketball. Through hard work and dedication, he became skilled enough to compete at a national level, winning medals and recognition for his talent.
However, his ambition didn’t stop there. He also started his own general store, providing for himself and becoming financially independent. But he didn’t forget about his community. He joined an NGO to help and guide others who were facing the same challenges he had faced. He shared his knowledge and experience to help them navigate their own paths.
Rafee’s story is an inspiration to all. Despite facing tremendous challenges, he persevered and achieved great things. His success in wheelchair basketball and entrepreneurship are a testament to his hard work and determination. But his commitment to helping others shows that he is not only a skilled athlete and business owner but also a compassionate and dedicated member of his community. (ANI)