1 year ago
Where there's will, there's way
If you travel around the valley (especially Jamal and Jhamsikhel area), you might see a boy maneuvering a bike-ride extraordinarily with just one leg. Despite a tragic accident at an early age, a promise to himself made him the person he is now. Thankfully, that boy Yubak Lama committed to riding a bike with one leg, proving and standing as a voice to the people who have undergone a similar situation like his.
When asked what bike meant to him, he said it was his other leg. To know more, MyCity and Nagarik Network caught that extraordinary boy and had some talk. Here are the excerpts:
Can you please share about your accident?
Seven years ago, I got in a bus accident. It was Dashain then. And I was traveling back home (Dhading ) with my father. Thankfully, my dad was safe but the accident affected me. I had to operate and remove the left leg.
What inspired you to ride bikes?
After the accident, I lost my left leg. I had tough times traveling to places. My seniors drop me off to the bus stop. But after completing their studies, there was nobody to take me to the stop. I had no other options, but to take public transportation. That year was very difficult. People behaved differently, especially khalasis. They treated me as if I was traveled for free. The buses rarely stopped after I waved my hands, even if they did, I would hardly find an empty seat. Going to school and traveling back home took me quite some time. All this inspired me to learn to ride a bicycle.
How hard was it to learn to ride a bicycle?
I didn’t learn to ride with one leg before knowing the technique. I used to only control the handles after being pushed or pedaled by another person. But after watching Yam Lal dai riding, I knew the technique. It made riding easier.
How did people react?
I got mixed reactions. Some reacted positively, while others were negative. People also praised me, but some showed concerns stating what if I lost my only leg in another unfortunate accident. All-in-all, people were quite supportive.
What do you do if people criticized the cycling you do? How do you react?
I always try consoling people; especially, if somebody makes negative remarks on my cycling habit. Some people feel that differently able people cannot do anything. I want to change that stereotyped perception and make them believe that people like us also can do something, given the time and support. Looking at my case, I’d not have learned to ride if I hadn’t practiced. I’d also ask them to support people like us so that people like me will be inspired.
Where have you traveled in your bicycle?
As a beginner, I rode only in my area. That made me confident. After some time, I began riding on the busy streets. Until now, followed by rides to Nepalgunj, Koshi Tappu, Gaighat, and many more.
Do you find it difficult riding in Kathmandu?
It’s not that hard to ride here, given the congested traffic. However, sometimes dust affects my health. Not having cycle tracks makes it difficult to cope up with the fast-moving traffic while riding, to be honest. I really hope the government will install lanes and make the road efficient to prevent accidents.
YouTube is at its peak now. Have you ever thought of sharing your stories over the internet?
I have always thought of running a vlog channel. However, I am not ready because I have a lot to learn. Let’s see what the future brings.
What do you love except riding?
Riding is always fun. However, I also enjoy riding the scooters. Oh! How can I miss football? It’s one of the best games I have ever played.
(Aside riding a bike and playing football, Lama is also a music fan. He wishes to meet his favorite singer, Neetesh Jung Kunwar one day.)
- by Upendra Lamichhane
- by Sangita Shrestha
- by Sangita Shrestha