Jaleel, for many years, struggled to go to school by crawling on the dusty and gravel roads with his knees and breathing in the dust. The ruthless gravel was causing him to skin his knees and cough with the dust, while people stared and pointed their fingers. Despite the obstacles and rude stares from people, Jaleel persisted and went to school every day with the support of EquallyAble, a non-profit organization that provided financial assistance for his education and a wheelchair to help him get around.
EquallyAble provided Jaleel with a $800 tuition after his father applied through a non-profit organization known as FEED. Although he was thrilled to receive an education, he still faced difficulties crawling to school. Therefore, EquallyAble also provided Jaleel with a wheelchair to help him travel to school more easily.
However, Jaleel faced another challenge when he found that his school was not accessible for his wheelchair. EquallyAble requested ramps for Jaleel’s wheelchair from the administration at the Indian Institute of Information Technology, which built a ramp to help Jaleel enter the building without difficulty. This allowed Jaleel to attend school without crawling on the rough roads and finally be free from the stares of the crowd.
EquallyAble’s mission is to empower people with disabilities by providing education, employment, and equipment, and working towards making buildings and campuses accessible. It is highly evident and demonstrated via our approach of not just giving aid, but teaching people to become self-sufficient. It is even reflected in our motto, “Instead of giving them the fish, we show them how to fish.”
EquallyAble not only provides education, employment, and equipment, but also ensures that these materials are used properly and regularly. We work to make buildings and campuses more accessible wherever possible. With the help of EquallyAble, Jaleel was able to roll his wheelchair smoothly into the school, and he no longer had to crawl on the rough gravel.
Jaleel’s story is an example of how he transformed from crawling on the rough gravel to rolling in his wheelchair and standing on his own, proving his worth to the crowd around him. Furthermore, his story shows how EquallyAble’s support helped him overcome the physical and societal obstacles he faced and empowered him to pursue his education with dignity and independence.