In an attempt to inspire hundreds of people to overcome their disabilities, a differently abled man works as a maxi cab driver in Mizoram to earn his livelihood.
The village of Hnahthial in southern Mizoram has made headlines in the national media for being the village Jeje Lalpekhlua hails from, well headlines could shift. Meet Nghaktea from the same village, who has been plying the narrow and curved roads of Mizoram for almost a decade. There’s nothing particular about him, he drives smoothly along the narrow curves and helps his passengers loading and unloading their baggage unless one notices that he is a right hand amputee.
A maxi cab driver by profession then, about ten years back, Nghaktea injured his right hand during a dynamite fishing, the damage caused by the dynamite was so severe that his right hand was amputated.
“At first, I was on the edge of mental breakdown and depression crept in, I was apprehensive on how I would feed my family who solely depends on me,” Nghaktea said.
But with strong will and sheer determination Nghaktea trained himself how to drive with one hand and made several modifications to his maxi cab so that most of the control panels could be operated using his left hand. With a new acquired confidence Nghaktea resumed his job.
“Will I still have passengers willing to travel with me, that was the first question coming to my mind,” Nghaktea recollects.
To his surprise and benefit, passengers were more than willing to board on his cab and they reposed their faith on him. They even say Nghaktea is the best driver around!
“My cab is in good form, all the parts are intact, the only thing is that the driver is one part missing,” Nghaktea would just said jokingly.
“I know it takes a lot of process to have a disabled driving license, I haven’t applied it yet, people are good to me, the authorities too, do not complaint, I believe they are just turning a blind eye,” Nghaktea said.
Provisions regarding licensing of handicapped drivers are mentioned in Motor Vehicles Rules. But the process is long and requires lot of paper works and time.
“I have heard that the vehicles have to be specially modified by the ministry of road transport’s empanelled company and that certain tests have to be done, I don’t have the money nor have the means to apply for such a license,” Nghaktea said.