Pakistan News

Polio-hit man longs for a healthy life

Polio-hit man longs for a healthy life

MINGORA: Imran Khan, a 20-year-old tailor, has no other desire in his life but to walk on foot. He was affected by polio when he was five as his parents refused to administer him anti-polio vaccine, terming it un-Islamic.

The life of Imran, a resident of Manglawar village in Swat, is limited to his home and tailoring shop. “I want to see the world around me. I want to walk and run and explore natural beauty but I cannot as I am a crippled man,” he told Dawn.

According to him, he was just five when he contracted ‘high fever’, which affected his left leg and he became a physically challenged person. “At first my parents did not know that it was polio but they said it was high fever which paralysed my leg, leaving me crippled for the rest of my life,” said the young tailor.

However, Imran said, later his parents came to know that real cause of his disability was their refusal to administer him anti-polio vaccine.

His only desire is to walk and run like normal people as according to him only he can realise the importance of normal and healthy legs.

“I often feel my disability as I cannot walk and go on my own but need someone’s help for that. It means I need an extra person, who is only free for me to help me move,” said Imran. He added that hiring a helper was impossible for poor and only rich people could afford it.

He said when he asked his parents as to why they didn’t administer him the anti-polio vaccine they replied it was God’s choice. “They say the disability was my destiny and nobody could stop it. However, sometimes they realise their mistake of not administering me anti-polio vaccine,” he said.

He has seven siblings, two elder sisters and five younger brothers. All his brothers have properly been administered anti-polio vaccine.

The physically challenged tailor is married and has one son. “I welcome the anti-polio team to administer vaccine to my son. I also motivate others to do it regularly,” he said.

Imran is working in a tailoring shop in his village on per suit wages. “I have been working as an artisan and sew gents’ suits. The owner of the shop gives me Rs150 per suit,” he said.

He wants to have his own shop. “If I have my own shop, I will get Rs400 per suit,” he said. He goes to the tailoring shop with the help of crutches or with the support of a helper.

“There is no bigger crime or sin, commit by parents, than to refuse anti-polio vaccine to their children. By refusing the vaccination they throw their children to a deep pit from where a child can never come out throughout his life,” he said and appealed to all the parents to administer anti-polio vaccine to their children.

Published in Dawn, August 11th, 2015

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