Meet this Pune auto driver, who is proving to be an inspiration for many amidst COVID-19 pandemic

Nagesh Kale lost both his legs in a train accident, but it did not slow him down. Even during the pandemic, the 27-year-old is making a living by driving an auto-rickshaw in Pune.

16th Jul 2020
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Twenty-seven-year-old Nagesh Kale lost both his legs in a train accident in 2013, leading to the amputation of both his limbs to prevent further infection. 


But, this did not wreck his indomitable spirit and will power. Nagesh, who dropped out of school after Class 8, bought an auto-rickshaw with the assistance of a few relatives, and since have been financially supporting his family. 


Nagesh Kale

Nagesh Kale drives a rickshaw for about 8 to 10 hours daily even during the pandemic.

Image credit: Hindustan Times




To help him ride the three-wheeler in his condition, Nagesh modified the vehicle by turning the leg break into a hand-powered one. And, amidst the coronavirus pandemic, Nagesh says he has been on the top of his game. 


“If I get a few long-distance daily customers, it helps me. But I can still earn on my own,” Nagesh told The Hindustan Times


Nagesh lives in Chikhali, Pune, with his wife and mother. Before the lockdown, he used to earn around Rs 800 to 900 per day. Today, he earns between Rs 200 and 300 every day. In fact, he has been a tool of inspiration for many of his customers, who also stand testimonial to his optimism. 


Sagar Dhavan, a resident of Pune who regularly travels with Nagesh, told The Better India,


“Apart from driving us around town, during the lockdown, Nagesh helped my family a lot. He would pick up groceries for my in-laws who are staying alone, and he would also check on them now and then to ensure they have everything.”


The coronavirus-led lockdown has led to the rise of several mental health issues among a significant population across the world, where many even turned to end their lives by attempting suicides. Even Nagesh had similar thoughts. However, he says he never gave in. 

“In my life, I got the feeling of committing suicide thrice – first, when the accident happened; second, when I was in the Sassoon hospital and my parents had to do everything; and third, during my last phase of treatment as I was unsure about my future. With the help and support of my family and friends, I did not give in, and today, I live happily. No matter what’s the problem, a person can survive. My life is an example,” he adds. 

(Edited by Suman Singh )

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