Disability doesn't deter him

THIS CRUSADER attributes his achievements to his disability. His struggle with poverty and disability have armed him with qualities that most of us leave by the roadside in our pursuit of material needs.

Twenty-three-year-old A. Nelson teaches social science in a middle school in Ittamozhi in Tirunelveli. His relative poverty has not been an impediment to his desire to travel. His many handicaps have not deterred him from taking these strenuous trips. His first foray into awareness campaigns began with rainwater harvesting.

Every Sunday he travels from south Tamil Nadu to the metropolis. And he moves round Chennai on his tricycle, and talks to people about prevention of AIDS. He believes emotional support and not monetary assistance is what a person living with AIDS requires.

So far Nelson has travelled to Virudhunagar, Madurai, Tiruchi and Villupuram districts.

For him, these trips and the conversations he has had with people have special significance. He knows it is difficult to change people's mindsets. But he continues it with a passion.

Inspired by Mother Theresa, Nelson is not looking for appreciation.

He would like a `permanent job' that would give him opportunities to do much more.

He wants to eradicate female infanticide and leprosy. Nelson also dreams of adopting a child someday.

By R. Sujatha

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