“My Disability has made me more resilient and hardworking...”

Hamida* led a normal life with her husband and three children in the village of Shadipora in Bandipora district of Kashmir. But things changed in 2007, when she was diagnosed with progressive vascular disease, and subsequently needed a bilateral leg amputation.

"After the procedure," Hamida recalls, "I not only lost my legs, but also my independence. It was hard to live on with this incompleteness". Looking at her 8-year- old daughter Mehnaz*, Hamida says, "My sickness placed a huge responsibility on my family. Treatment was expensive and there was no money left for my children's tuition fees. My husband could not go to work for a long time because he had to take care of me. I felt so hopeless".

Hamida struggled for a long time to find suitable prostheses as most were uncomfortable.

Today, seven years later, Hamida hopes to open a small shop, which will help her both contribute to the family income and also cover the costs of schooling for her children. The prosthesis she is using now, fashioned from polypropylene, has made a huge difference. "It has helped me regain myself. It is lightweight and user- friendly. To some extent, it has restored my independent functioning. I can walk quite a distance, use public transportation, and even go to see the doctor. Today, I am able to manage my household, cook food for my family. These are all the things that I missed for many years."

Having faced unimaginable challenges, Hamida is full of optimism, when she says, "My disability has ultimately made me more resilient and hardworking. What I need is an opportunity to prove myself! All I ask from others is to judge me by what I can still do, not from how I look." She adds with a smile ...

Never let limitations hold you back from doing something meaningful!

*Names have been changed. The beneficiary was fitted at the Voluntary Medicare Society Centre located at Bermina Srinagar. The centre is supported by the ICRC.