Lestari travels to bring an message to disabled

Sri LestariSri Lestari doesn’t let her inability to walk diminish her drive. For example, in May the social worker for United Cerebral Palsy/Wheels for Humanity drove more than 750 miles from Jakarta, the Indonesian capital, to Ubud, on the island of Bali, on a campaign to empower disabled people. Her life’s mission is to prove that being disabled still means freedom, and it starts with the very thing that first injured her: a motorcycle.

When she was 23, a motorcycle accident left her paralyzed from the chest down. She fell into a deep depression and spent the next 10 years in her home in Klaten, in Central Java, embroidering and rarely going outside.

Like many others living with disabilities in Indonesia – a country that provides little aid to those with physical or mental challenges – life was a struggle. Her plans for the future had taken a huge blow when she lost her independence.

“Before I got a motorcycle, I just thought ‘How can I work?’ ” Ms. Sri says. “I [was] so worried about that. It was making me stressed because I was jobless. I was really dependent on my parents, so I was so worried about a job.”

It all changed when she learned about a program that modifies motorcycles by adding a wheelchair platform and ramp, additional wheels, relocated handlebars, and a hand-controlled stick shift and brakes.

For Sri, this was the answer. No longer would her sister have to pick her up, strap her feet to the back of a motorcycle, and drive her to the school for blind children in her village where, after she had built up enough confidence, she had started volunteering to help print books in Braille.

source : http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Making-a-difference/2013/0802/Sri-Lestari-travels-by-motorcycle-to-bring-an-empowering-message-to-disabled-people

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