Bangaru Ananda Kumar (48), a visually-challenged carpenter, works magic with his hands
PATANCHERU (Medak Dt.): Can you see with your hands? One can do it, asserts Bangaru Ananda Kumar (48), a carpenter.
He earns enough to support his family of five because “I have eyes in my hands.” Give him an object and after a few minutes of feeling it with his hands, he clones it soon, be it a chair, a dressing table or a double cot.
A native of Subbarayapuram of Rajahmundry, Anand is visually impaired. A fall from a two-storeyed building about two decades ago resulted in the loss of his eyesight. Unable to afford medical expenses, his parents left the impairment unattended. With help and inspiration from Mary Kantam, who took care of him and offered food and shelter, Anand gave a serious thought to his future and decided to become a carpenter.
A firm believer in divinity, he made a stool after feeling one for a few minutes with his hands. And then there was no looking back. Today, he runs a shop and employs 20 youth and ekes out a respectable living, notwithstanding his impairment.
In 1982, he migrated from Subbarayapuram and came here. Overcoming initial problems posed by relocating to a new place and finding work, he started his own little shop. It was a tough decision but he asked his 15-year-old son Raju to help him instead of going to school because he was constantly cheated by people. Some workers took money from customers and disappeared, while others stole material from his shop.
Today he has a busy schedule. One can find him in the evenings in a church, either at Adarsh Colony or at Rameswaram, and on Sundays at the mass. He has learnt to cope with life despite his handicap. Recalling his marriage, he narrated how he had to go through 31 marriage proposals, before deciding to wed Leelavathi. “My only wish was that she should never repent marrying a visually-challenged man. I promised a decent living and lived up to it,” Anand says.