Tuesday, September, 15 was a day of joy for Aisha Usman, a 30-year-old woman, who has been crawling after she was attacked by polio 29 years ago.
When Aisha was listed among the beneficiaries of a mobility cart given to disabled persons in Bauchi State by Bruder Hilfe Sozial Development Initiative, she cried for joy, while recalling a long time of hardship and denial she had suffered.
Before receiving the cart, Aisha was seen crawling around the distribution venue with her two-year-old daughter. Her mood changed as she beamed with a smile amid sobs when she was lifted into the new cart.
She said: “In my 29 years of crawling, I never thought of things like this coming my way. I was affected by polio when I was a year old. I grew up crawling and since then things have been so hard.
“The society is not friendly to us. We face more neglect when using public toilets, crossing the roads, and climbing the stairways of a building. I am not the type who begs on the street but all I want is to be considered fit with a good mobility cart, to, at least, move round to fend for my family. Now that my prayers have been answered after so many years, a new life has just begun for me,” she said as she thanked the donor NGO for changing her life.
While speaking with The Guardian, the President of the Germany-based NGO, Bruder Hilfe Sozial Development Initiative, Mrs Mary Bamigbe Bruder, said she is partnering the state government to cushion the hardship faced by physically challenged persons in the state.
She said: “This is our first phase of intervention in Bauchi State, covering a total of 90 beneficiaries carefully selected by the government. Subsequently, our other interventions will focus on health and education. A lot of these beneficiaries are victims of polio and they have suffered in life.”
Meanwhile, Governor Mohammed has assured the physically challenged persons of better days ahead. He said to achieve the desired objectives, he would constitute a Board of Agency for persons with disabilities in the state.