I've had polio in my legs since birth, which means I’ve always had to crawl around. We had very little money, so my parents couldn’t buy me a wheelchair. I desperately wanted to go to school, but my parents told me I couldn’t because I couldn’t walk. “You can’t go, don’t keep asking!” they’d say, so I tried to keep quiet. I was very sad because I was too afraid to tell them how I really felt, just in case they sent me away. I didn’t want to make them angry.
There was nothing to do at home and I got very bored. All my friends were at school and I felt low almost every day. I used to try to get around to see other disabled people, just so I could feel I wasn’t alone. I felt a bit better when I did this and made some good friends.
I now have a wheelchair at Neema Crafts which I use everyday, and thanks to Neema I also have one at home. If there was no one around, I used to have to stay indoors but now I don't have to depend on someone to pick me up if I want to go outside. Between home and work, I use a three-wheeled bicycle Neema has given me, which has been really helpful too.
I’ve always found the people here to be very friendly. Nobody ever seems to quarrel, which I like. I enjoy my work very much too, weaving scarves, bags and cushions. My parents are both proud of me now. I don't think they thought I would ever have a job. It’s been easier to support them since I’ve been working, particularly my mother, who’s sick. It’s the first opportunity I’ve had to prove myself and I feel I can do things just as well as anybody now. The life I have now is better than the one I had as a child. I can work, I have money and I feel confident. I joined 10 years ago now and I want to stay here, lead a good life and save money for the future.