GARDEZ (Pajhwok): A differently abled person in southern Paktia province calls the return of peace to the country his dream so that other Afghans were spared the ordeal of being maimed by the ongoing conflict.
Khalil, 55, from the Ahmadabad district lost one of his legs in a blast, is currently working at a stone excavation site, farmlands and orchards.
However, he does not view the loss of a leg as incapacity. Reliant on crutches, the man has a shovel and a mattock at the farm land. At times, he also carries other tools needed for stone excavation or farm land.
Khalil told Pajhwok Afghan News he lost his leg in a blast years back. “To me, disability is no hurdle. Peace is my dream so that no other person becomes handicapped.”
At the initial stage of disability, he recalled, it was difficult for him to work. Poverty and family needs forced him to deal with difficulties of life.
Khalil said he did not want his children to rely on others and struggle the way he was doing.
For their bright future, Khalil’s children are focused on their education. They are given 500 afghanis each in fee for religious studies.
Currently, Khalil is working on an apple farm of his cousins in the village. Ten percent of the profit ends up in his pocket.
The man says he harvests 11 tonnes of apples annually, 600 tonnes of potatoes and 200 tonnes of beans from the farm.
Standing tall in his nine-acre farm, Khalil is satisfied with his situation. When he sees youth wasting their time he gets disappointed.
If every individual works according to their abilities, they would be able to earn their livelihoods and resolve social issues as well, he believes.
Khalil has an artificial leg, but it does not help him much, because moves all day long.
His relative Abdullah Mukhlis says people of the locality are surprised watching the determination and consistent work of Khalil.
Mukhlis said: “When we talk about Khalil, we gather a different impression. He works more five able-bodied people. He has built a house for himself and ekes out a living decently.”
Bakhtiar Zazai, director for the affairs of the disabled, said the government provided assistance to all special people in line with the law of the land.
He claimed corruption had been curtailed in this department to a large extent and all eligible persons got their privileges on time.
Although different state organs and NGOs are working for the economic well-being and prosperity of the special people, no one has reached out to Khalil so far.
Ziaul Haq Fazli, spokesperson for the State Ministry for the Disabled and Martyrs, said the government facilitated the recruitment of the special people in different fields.
“We provide the special persons annual privileges and 900 to 1,000 afghanis in scholarship. Up to 400 differently abled people are also provided food assistance.
“They are represented by two senators in the upper house and efforts are being made to provide them more assistance,” he said.
Around one million disabled people are registered across Afghanistan. Some of them have been maimed by war while others are born disabled.