AT birth, Abel Chanda of Kamfumu village of Lupososhi district in Northern Province had straight, normal legs like any baby, until he turned two years old when he suddenly started having a knee flexion and extension.
In Kamfumu village, Abel is well-known as he is usually spotted strolling around with friends.
Meeting Abel, especially for the first time, one will not help but get enchanted with his kind personality and cheery face.
Engaging Abel into a conversation, you will be tempted to think that he is an A + pupil.
But no! This is a boy who has never stepped into a classroom.
While he can easily move from one place to the next, Abel is unable to walk a long distance, like the one from his home to Kalaba Primary School, the nearest school.
For that reason, Abel has never stepped his feet in a classroom, in all his life.
Even the current government’s free education policy is yet to impact positively on Abel.
What is heartening, however, is that Abel still has burning enthusiasm to learn something, regardless of his physical condition.
And he does not want to skip any stage, in his academic journey; he wants to start in Grade one.
“I admire to see my friends going to school every day. Some of my mates are even in Grade 10 now but I fail to go because my condition can’t allow me to cover long distances. But one day, I know I will also wear a school uniform,” said Abel.
With dedicated physiotherapy services and other professional care in the medical toolkit, Abel is confident that his legs can be worked on and gain restoration.
Better still, Abel can be helped with a wheelchair from any well-wisher.
Abel’s mother, Grace Musonda told Kalemba that Abel, his eldest son delayed to walk as a baby and that such prompted her to look for traditional medicine that is mostly used for babies in her village when they delay to walk.
Such medicine did not work, as Abel’s legs started to bend.
Musonda explained that she never took Abel to a hospital due to lack of money.
“I can be happy to see my son walk straight and go to school. It has always been my wish and desire that he learns,” said Musonda, a single mother, who is taking care of four children.
By Buumba Mwitumwa
Kalemba May 30, 2023