“My life has changed with this tricycle – so many things have come with this tricycle!” Jasmeen, India

Ten-year-old Jasmeen lives in Uttar Pradesh, India. Both her and her 16-year-old sister, Farhanaj, have under-developed lower limbs and, without appropriate wheelchairs, they have been completely dependent on their family members to get around. 

Jasmeen and Farhanaj are both bright, creative children but, despite their obvious potential, their parents were initially reluctant for them to go to school – it was just too difficult to get the girls there everyday.

When Jasmeen was small, her mother could carry to her to class, but as she got bigger and heavier this became impossible so instead, her husband Mohammed would take the sisters to school individually on the back of his bicycle. The short trip would take him over an hour each morning, which meant time away from his busy hand-looming business – time the family couldn’t afford to lose.

It was a difficult period, but with the support of Jasmeen and Farhanaj’s headteacher, Sister Cecelia, Mohammed saw the value of his daughters receiving an education and became determined to keep them in school.

Things became easier when Jasmeen and Farhanaj were referred to a local wheelchair service through a Motivation project with World Vision in India. Jasmeen remembers clearly the day she got her new tricycle:

“At hospital I got this chair. They called me and my sister, they measured us and then prepared the tricycles. I practised and then I could come to school! I have a good feeling with this chair!” 

Motivation’s hand-powered tricycles are perfect for people who need to travel longer distances independently. They are designed to cope with rough terrain, like the uneven road surfaces around Jasmeen and Farhanaj’s home, and they even have a built in rear carrier for the girls’ school bags. 

The tricycles have made a huge difference to family life. The girls are independent, confident and able to go about their lives just like other children their age. Crucially, they have been able to continue their education now that the trip to school is trouble-free, which is a relief for Mohammed:

“Now they go [to school] by themselves. They are more comfortable and more independent – they even help with the business too. They go to the market and bring things for the business.”

Sister Cecelia is also delighted to see Jasmeen arriving at school on her own and has noticed a number of positive changes in her:

“Jasmeen has no inhibitions now, her personality has changed and she has ambition in her life – she wants to enrol in all the programmes! Sometimes, there are children who are ready to help [at school] and she says ‘no, I don’t want any help – I can manage by myself’.”

“I found that these two girls, they do not want any sympathy from us. And they don’t even want that we look at them like they do not have hands and legs - according to them, they are OK.”

Farhanaj uses her new tricycle to get school:

At 15, Farhanaj has progressed to another school and is a talented artist, entering drawings in competitions. She is ambitious and keen to develop her English and Maths so that she can become a bank manager when she is older.

Mohammed and his wife are immensely proud of their daughters and have high hopes for their futures:

Me and my wife have noticed changes in them – they are confident and they can go anywhere without assistance.”

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At least one million people in India need a properly fitted wheelchair that can stand up to rough terrain. That's why Motivation is developing wheelchair services across India so that disabled people have access to wheelchairs that are properly fitted by trained clinicians and can live healthy and active lives.

But the need is great and ever growing - we still need your support. Support us and ensure we can continue to expand our efforts in the country and turn more lives around.

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