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Saturday, January 31, 2015

'Horsepower' runs a family of four

Malda, 27 January: Rana Pratap’s pet horse ‘Chaitak’ is believed to have rescued its mentor several times from perils and used to be admired by its owner. The pet horse of Chhotelal Mandal (58), is no less valued by its owner as the animal helps him to earn a modest livelihood unless which the physically challenged cycle-van puller might not have sustained his family of four.

An inhabitant of Nunbahi village of Kazigram gram panchayat Chhotelal used to look after his family with his meager earning from pulling cycle-van plying between his village and Malda town. But as the fragility gradually gripped him, it was beyond his ability to use paddle his vehicle. Eventually, strength of both of his legs were lost which further aggravated Chhotelal’s struggle.

‘Raja Bahadur,’ the horse as fondly addressed by Chhotelal then emerged as a boon for him. “It was impossible for me to pull the van even a short distance. My income was fast falling. It was then my relative Mantu Mahaldar from Kaliachak offered me his horse as he went to other state. Initially it added to my worries as I could hardly afford its food. However, it rather became my obligation later to feed it at any cost,” he said.

Now, Chhotelal uses the horse for pulling his cycle van which has increased both his speed and income. “Those who used to refuse to hire my vehicle now stand in the queue to get on my Raja Bahadur drawn 'chariot.' I am happy that I am not dependent on anyone’s mercy. Raja Bahadur solved many of my worries,” prod Chhotelal said.

Gautam Chaudhury, the pradhan of Kazigram gram panchayat said, “I have seen the strange vehicle recently but was in dark about Chhotelal’s plight. There are several schemes for such needy people. If Chhotelal applies, he may be offered the benefit of any such scheme.”

Chhotelal is still not sure of his future but he is confident of keep running steadily as long as Raja Bahadur is ready for rendering inexhaustible service to his master. 

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