Badaruzaman: A Hodophile Who Makes Impossible Possible

Badaruzaman, a hodophile man, makes the impossible possible. Until 2003, Badru was an ordinary person with a lot of dreams, just like any young man his age. He was the hope of his family. An accident in 2003 was a turning point in his life. Destiny sought to shrink the life of the energetic man within the four walls of the house. But he was not ready to surrender to fate. He was resurrected with the help of his better half Muneera.

The main problem for someone in a wheelchair is mobility. So travelling is only a dream for many. Even the wheelchair could not halt the dreams of the hodophile man. He travelled a lot with family and his friends who are facing the same situations as him. He is an inspiration to many who are stranded within the four walls of the house by disability. It is an exclusive interview with Badrusaman who makes impossible possible.

Could you tell me about yourself?

My name is Badaruzhaman, which is an Arabic name. Everyone calls me Badaru. I’m from Moorkanad, near Perinthalmanna, in the Malappuram district of Kerala. My family consists of my father, mother, wife, brother and sisters. My brother is settled in London and the sisters are married.

I had been working in UAE till 2003. My marriage was in 2003. I returned to my job after my marriage, and a week later an accident happened. My spinal cord was injured and I returned home. I was in a wheelchair inside my house for about 5 years. At that time I was hoping to be able to walk again, but as time went on. I underwent a lot of treatment. Finally, I realised that I will never walk again. Later I started working among people with disabilities. Camps were organized for the differently-abled.

I found a lot of guys who had similar experiences in life. I organized a lot of camps. We visited a lot of people with disabilities at their homes and talked to them. It helped me to understand their plight. We began to support those in need.

What is the story behind the Music on Wheels?

There are a lot of people among us who sing well. We started a music band, Music on Wheels, to give them a platform. They performed on more than 200 stages across Kerala. We pay around Rs 8000 per person for a stage show. Such programs were affected by Covid-19. But now the programs have resumed. The band ‘Music on Wheels’ consists of 3 female and 7 male singers. We do comedy and drama.

How was the formation of the Kombans Team?

We travelled to change the boredom of life. Initially, it was a short family trip. We travelled to nearby places like Thrissur and Ernakulam. Other people who came to know about our trip joined us. Thus we formed the Kombans team. Now, there are around 20 people in our team. The meaning of the Malayalam word is tusker.

The public is very sympathetic to the disabled. The team was named Kombans to indicate that we do not need sympathy. We can travel around 700 km in a day. The general thinking is that a person with a disability does not need a job or can depend on others for their livelihood. We want to change this attitude.

Many people with disabilities are reluctant to leave home. Some people like to go out, but there is no one to help them. We encourage such people to travel. We also aim to convey the message that people with disabilities can travel.

Some struggle to find the money. We save some money from the pension, which we can use for our travels. Everyone in this group finds money out of their pocket. Long trips require a lot of money. The cost of a long trip is approx. 50,000. Everyone sets aside a small amount each month for the trip.

We never depend on others for money. We do not have a sponsor. Even if a person earns a small amount per month, they can save an amount from it. They can use the amount to fulfill dreams.

There are 10 people in our group working at the Simon Brito Swatana Center in Perinthalmanna. The job helps them to earn a better income. There are many companies in Kerala that can employ the disabled. People with disabilities can stand on their legs if such companies come forward.

What are the future programs of Kombans team?

Travel is the main program of the Kombans team. We are getting ready to visit Kashmir. There are a lot of people among us who do not travel by plane. We are also planning a flight and cruise trip.

What do you do exactly?

After the accident, I studied graphic design. I also conduct classes in Photoshop, Poster design, Video editing and Album creation. Two batches completed their course. I do Photoshop, poster designing and video editing.

I am also interested in share marketing. We support all members of the Kombans team to invest in the stock market. I also has a YouTube channel named BADARUZAMAN

Could you tell me about your wheelchair business?

We have contact with the manufacturing companies of the wheelchairs. We sell a wheelchair for Rs. 50000 to Rs. 53000. The same wheelchair is available in the market for 60000. Wheelchair service is a problem in Kerala. We have selected companies that can provide services. We also sell manual wheelchairs for less than the market price.

Have you any unforgettable experiences in life?

We had a lot of unforgettable experiences on each trip. We recently visited Vagamon. There is a viewpoint in the adventure park. The viewpoint is at the top, and there are several steps. One of our team members was taken to the viewpoint. Then security came and said no wheelchair access. We argued with security. They had no reason to say why we were not allowed. That led to a long argument.

Do you have a message for the world?

My message is that a person with a disability does not have to spend all their time at home. They can travel anywhere as normal.

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