"The trike is much more comfortable than my old wheelchair, I used to get pains in my arms but I have had none with this trike" Lakshma, India

In 2002, 85% of the world’s newly confirmed Polio cases occurred in India leading the country to launch a mass immunisation campaign against the virus. In 2014, India was declared Polio free which was considered a landmark success for global health. However there are many people, like Lakshma, who still struggle to get the equipment and support they need to adjust to life after the disease…

Lakshma is 34-years old and lives in Telangana, India, with his wife and five-year-old son. Having contracted Polio as a small child, he was left with marked weakness in his lower limbs and now uses a tricycle to aid his mobility.

Fiercely independent, Lakshma takes great pride in the fact that his job as a petrol attendant enables him to provide for his family with no outside assistance. But a few months ago his financial independence was hanging in the balance as his locally-made tricycle began to deteriorate under the strain of a 4km daily commute over rough, muddy ground.

And this wasn’t Lakshma’s only concern. The tricycle was not designed to be used over long distances and, as a result, he had begun to develop severe pain in his arms, which he worried would stop him from being able to travel to work. He was also at risk of developing debilitating pressure ulcers, which could jeopardise his health and require costly medical treatment.

Earlier this year, Lakshma was identified by one of our local partners as somebody who might benefit from a Motivation tricycle. They discussed his needs and lifestyle and, after assessment, staff fitted him with a new tricycle to support his posture and relieve the strain on his arms. It’s made a huge difference:

The trike is much more comfortable than my old wheelchair, I used to get pains in my arms but I have had none with this trike

Securing employment and providing for the family are important goals for many people like Lakshma, but opportunities are not always on your doorstep so, alongside an appropriate wheelchair, basic mobility skills are essential. After his fitting, Motivation's wheelchair service provided some skills training specially tailored to Lakshma. A series of navigable obstacles were laid out upon muddy, rough terrain so as to emulate his daily commute to work.

Lakshma has always been confident in his own abilities, but often this isn’t the case. Independent and mobile, he now proudly serves as a member of the Social Welfare Association for People with Disabilities in Telangana, helping to speak up for the rights of other disabled people in the community.

Motivation is now working with the Government of India to ensure more people like Lakshma get the right wheelchair, in the right way. To find out more, click here.