BY EBUN BABALOLA
For those with physical disabilities, personal mobility also means personal freedom. Adults and children who are physically challenged require assistance through solutions such as scooters and wheelchairs, which give them hope and aid movement.

Ahmed

But there are those who go the extra mile of ensuring that they have their freedom. They depend on no one for assistance.

The physically disabled face different challenges everyday. The challenges for these individuals range from taking a few steps to their kitchen or making an effort to being independent.

It is generally believed that physically challenged people are at a disadvantage when it comes to running a business of their own.

This is the story of Ahmed Muhammed, a 20-year old physically challenged man, who says being physically challenged is not the end of the road.

Ahmed in an encounter with Saturday Vanguard, admitted that although his disability has caused some set-back such as dropping out of school.

He had no one to pay for his education and so, he was left to choose between street begging and using his two hands to work.

He was involved in an accident on his way to his school which laid to his being cripple.
His story:  “My parents are poor and so, it was difficult for them to help me.

So, I relocated to Lagos and started a new life. My father tried his best but he was unable to help me.

So, I started petty trading to make the ends meet. Along the line, I felt I could do something meaningful to my life than what I was going through, so I resolved to go and learn welding as a profession. I was also selling phone accessories but all to no avail. I was into some petty trading for about seven years.

“I was determined not to depend on anybody for livelihood. I started selling spare parts, I was doing this until I had an encounter with an Igbo man who introduced me to his friend at Ladipo area of Lagos State.

He advised me to get something that could enhance my mobility.

That day, I thought of it and started thinking on what to do. So, I went to Ladipo but unfortunately, I was told that I might not be able to do any reasonable work because of my condition.

While I was roaming about in the market, I met someone who suspected that I might be having some challenges and decided to help me. He told me about a machine that could help me while I go out for my daily routine. Although I had no money to buy it.

I was determined that I wouldn’t go into street begging. So, I started saving money for seven years. Before then, I was told that it would cost me a N100,000 to construct this machine. So I started saving some money until I was able to realise N50,000.

At that point, I decided to go back to the man and begged for his assistance.  He was moved by my passion and decided to help me. My friend Yahaya Aji loaned me some money which I added to the N30,000 I saved. The man helped me and trained me on how to ride the machine

With this machine, I can go anywhere around Lagos State for my business. I use it as a means of transportation. I go as far as Lagos, Mile 2, Oshodi, Ladipo to buy my spare parts.

He now attends an adult school at Idi-Araba, Mushin area of Lagos State to improve his education.

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Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.