News and stories News and blogs When David met Srnivas... "I feel much prouder now; I am more of a presence." Last year, Motivation co-founder David Constantine travelled to south east India to visit some of our projects. He met with farmer and wheelchair user, Srnivas, to find out how his Motivation wheelchair has changed his life. David: Tell us about yourself. Srnivas: My name is Srnivas and I am forty years old. When I was younger, I trained as an artist as there were no other jobs. I worked to support my wife and my two children but in 2006, I fell from a height and was badly injured. David: How long were you in the hospital? Srnivas: Two months. They said there was nothing to be done with my injuries – I’d never walk again – and sent me home. I had pressure sores, so they gave me medication for that. Then I visited a military hospital. There, they operated on my back and said I’d be able to walk again if I attended physiotherapy. It was too expensive for me though – 26,000 Rupees (£285) – so I went home again where the treatment is much cheaper. In 2009, I was told I would never walk and needed to start taking more care of my health. I was advised to concentrate on using a wheelchair. David: What is your wheelchair like? Srnivas: My first one was not much use. It had solid rubber wheels rather than tubular tyres. The wheels wore out quickly and it was difficult to use. It was not fitted and it was uncomfortable. I was afraid of travelling down the steep, sandy slopes to my fields because I was afraid of falling backwards. My Motivation wheelchair has larger wheels though. It is less of a risk and is much more helpful, especially when travelling over soft soil. It has a cushion too, which means it’s more comfortable. There are always people willing to help me too, which makes me feel more confident. David: Can you tell me more about your farming? Is this how you earn a living now? I have one acre of land, which I pay 6,500 Rupees (£70) per year for. I hire one worker to help me, and pay him a daily wage. We mainly grow vegetables, especially cucumbers, and all the produce is taken to market to sell. I have always had this acre of land and I do not want to do any other work now. My parents were already farming this land when I had my accident. After that, I wanted to cultivate it myself rather than renting it out. Most of my income is from farming, though I also do stone working. With my stone business, I use my artistic training – I carve names into stone. I make income from this as well as farming but the profit margins are not so good. I use a combination of my two incomes to support my family. David: How has your Motivation wheelchair changed your life? I can get around the fields easily with my new wheelchair. With my old one, farming would not have been possible. I feel much prouder now; I am more of a presence. My new wheelchair has added to my standing in the community, allowing me to support others. I am well known in the community now. People talk to me to get advice, and some even call me an entrepreneur. David: I'm glad to hear you're doing well, Srnivas. Thank you for talking to us today. Support Motivation Srnivas' Motivation wheelchair changed his life for good. Without it, he would not be able to earn a living and support his family through farming. You can help people like Srnivas regain their independence and work their way out of poverty by supporting Motivation today. Donate now.