Prabhakant Maurya’s is a case of fate staining his life’s fabric and then weaving colourful patterns into it.
A carpet weaver from Handiya district in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, Prabhakant Maurya felt weakness in his hand in 2003, and it started affecting his weaving work. He visited a local doctor who diagnosed it as a case of polio. The doctor gave him an injection and medicines for a month. Prabhakant found some improvement in his condition. He resumed his carpet weaving work, but one day found his hands becoming so weak that he couldn’t work anymore. He stopped working altogether, jeopardising his family’s livelihood. In 2006, his hands started clawing.
“One day my friend noticed my fingers and told me it might be the case of leprosy and asked me to visit the nearby government health centre. The doctor there asked me about my condition. I told him how my small finger started getting clawed in 2003, followed by all fingers in 2006. I also told him how a doctor in the village misdiagnosed me with polio. The doctor there asked if I have ever had MDT (multi-drug therapy), and I told him that I haven’t. He gave me MDT for six months. He told me my fingers could be corrected with reconstructive surgery. I was referred to TLM Naini Hospital. On August 5, 2016, my hands were operated upon, and ever since, my hands are normal. TLM Naini Hospital referred me to TLM Vocational Training Centre in Faizabad (Uttar Pradesh) for a course in two wheeler automobile mechanics. For me, this is a second lease of life. After my fingers clawed due to leprosy, there was no means of livelihood for me and my family. Now I look forward to opening my own two wheeler automobile garage in my village.”