KENDRAPARA: Urbashi Das of Kalasapur village in Kendrapara district was born with both her arms paralysed. But as she grew up, her determination overpowered her disability and she learnt to use her feet to lead an independent life.
Today, Urbashi not only takes care of herself but also teaches in an Anganwadi centre at her village. She uses her toes to write.
“When Urbashi was born, everyone apprehended that her future is bleak. As she had paralysed arms, relatives feared for her future. Some even suggested us to leave the child to her fate and get on with our lives. But now Urbashi is the pride of our family and village. With sheer hard work, she has managed to be self-reliant,” said Ramachandra Das, father of Urbashi.
Urbashi is no less than any normal girl. She dresses, cooks, paints, peels vegetables, sews and writes with her toes. She has also learnt type-writing with her feet. “Urbashi inspires the students with her fancy footwork. Once you get to know her, her disability will not be visible to you. With her determination she has proved that nothing is impossible,” said Prasana Dhal, a villager of Kalasapur. Urbashi has passed the HSC examination, Intermediate Arts and Sashtri degree in Hindi language by writing with her toes.
“My parents were always keen on educating me. I went to the village school with my elder sister where the teachers encouraged me to write Odia and English alphabets using my toes. I slowly learnt to fix the pen between toes and started writing. During examinations in college and school, students sit on the bench. I sat on the floor and wrote with my toes. I can do everything with my feet,” said Urbashi, who has four sisters and a brother.
“My aim is to open a school and training centre for persons with disability in our village,” she added.
Though Urbashi initially struggled to find a job, she was later appointed as a teacher in the village Anganwadi centre by the authorities concerned. It has been seven years since I joined here. I enjoy my job as a teacher, Urbashi said.
“She is an example and motivation for the persons with disabilities. She has already taught a lesson in life to many people around her with her undying spirit to move ahead in life,” said Baijayanti Mohanty, a social worker and president of the district unit of the association of the disability persons .
“Twentyone years after enactment of the Disabilities Act, which promised 3 per cent reservation in government jobs, the disabled are yet to taste the fruits of this landmark law,” Mohanty added.