I first met this young man, now aged 22, last October when I had a wheelchair that had been funded by someone to donate to a worthy person in Sri Lanka. He had lost both legs on the railway track.
The first time I went to the house he was not there but I was struck by how awful the living conditions were.
He has a 20 year old brother, 24 year old sister, and mother and father all living with him. World Vision had seen fit to build a very flash block built self contained shower and toilet within the original poor condition house – I was astounded, to put it mildly – in fact by the time I was back in the hotel I was furious – and I had’nt even met him!
The following day laden with food, fresh fish and vegetables I and 2 friends waded through thigh high monsoon waters to reach his house – he was in.
All of us were immediately taken with this charismatic young man – and he could speak VERY little English. I asked his sister if he had just one wish what it would be –
‘new legs Madam’
she whispered – I discretely swallowed my tears – here was a young man the same age as my son Jack, who is fit and healthy, he is good looking, clearly has many friends and yet he is denied the normal life of someone his age.
He was playing football in September 2006 with some friends on the train track near to his house. As the train noise is part and parcel of everyday life they are not alarmed by its clatter as it roars past. That fateful day, the train had no carriages and the noise would have been reduced. The engine would also have been travelling faster than normal – he misjudged running across the track!
Rasika spent 3 months in hospital.
Before his accident he was a welder – now he has NO job. He was the only source of income for the house. His father is too old and both his sister and younger brother are studying. His older sister is married. His mother has a very menial job working in a Dr’s private house bringing in a very low salary.
The family are all very thin but Rasika is quite well built and I suspect the others give him the Lion’s share of the food. I wrote about him in my Newsletter and someone from America has given me 4,000 pounds to built them a new house – someone else has pledged the money for the land too.