Neither wheelchair nor lockdown can pin this paraplegic couple down


Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: For George K Thomas and his wife Jasmine Isaac, both paraplegic needing wheelchair assistance, the lockdowns have been a learning curve. The couple, who has been acting as road safety ambassadors, are now working on a book for kindergarten students. Replete with illustrations, the project aims to catch them young emphasising the need for barrier-free roads and facilities required for the differently-abled in public transport.

“The pandemic has been an eye-opener for us in several ways,” says George. “We started a YouTube channel, started practicing archery, and penned a book for kindergarten students. The period pushed us to be all the more independent.” 

Though cricket has always been his passion, George, 40, has been practising archery from 2014. And he is looking forward to competing at the next national paralympic championship. The couple also gives motivational talks to Student Police Cadets and the Kerala Police on how they have conquered odds. 

Jasmine, 35, has a piece of advice. “We realised that several people are apprehensive about vaccines. People should get vaccinated,” she says. The duo became paralysed from waist down in two separate road accidents. George suffered severe damage to his spinal cord when his motorbike collided with an autorickshaw close to his home in Nalanchira in 2004. Jasmine met with an accident in 2003. While riding her two-wheeler with her younger sister as a pillion rider, an SUV rammed into them.

A chance meeting at a private hospital led to their marriage in 2014. While their parents were apprehensive of two such individuals living together, the couple has proved everyone wrong over the past seven years, making giant strides in leading an independent life without relying on anyone. They shuttle between their homes in Thiruvananthapuram and Angamaly in their custom-made van with George behind the wheels.

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