Wheelchair-bound woman starts spice factory, employs 10 others

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Sumarty Ji advises specially-abled people to not stop dreaming and achieving

Jahangeer Ganaie

Around 20 years ago, a tragic accident not only shattered the dreams of a Srinagar woman but confined her to a wheelchair. But nothing stopped her from working hard and becoming an inspiration as she now provides jobs to around 10 persons.

Sumarty Ji, 34, a resident of the Sonawar area of Srinagar, started her own spice factory in Khonmoh Srinagar.

Talking to the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), Sumarty Ji said she was quite well in her childhood but at the age of 13 met a tragedy due to which her legs stopped working.

Despite treatment outside J&K, nothing worked, she said. “After coming to know that I won’t be able to walk now, I started suffering from depression, and other issues. My health began deteriorating despite full support from my family,” she said, adding, “It was my father who stood behind me like a rock. If I am anything today it is only because of him.”

Though it took me a long time to accept the reality that I have to live life on a wheelchair, I started taking everything positively and took my disability, which had become a hurdle, as a challenge, she said.

“After some time, I started a boutique in a locality where two girls were working with me but as I wasn’t able to work there properly, I had to close it,” Sumarty Ji added.

Later, the idea of starting a spice factory came to her mind.

There was no support from the government; however, I took a loan and started this factory ‘Sadaf Masalay’ in the industrial area of Khonmoh where we have been working for more than a month now, she said, adding, “Currently, 10 educated youth are working in our factory where we are manufacturing, grinding and packing chillies and other all spices and selling them in market.”

During the initial days, everyone was of the opinion that you can’t do it but today everyone appreciates me, Sumarty Ji said, adding that the spices manufactured at the factory are pure with no chemicals added to them. I am hopeful of everyone liking it, she said.

Sumarty Ji said she has played basketball and other games where her skill was appreciated at various levels. She said that specially-abled people shouldn’t lose hope but learn to overcome challenges to live an independent life.

My message to the other specially-abled persons will be that your disability isn’t the end of life, rather you need to be courageous to fight all odds and overcome challenges, Sumarty Ji said, adding, “If your one organ isn’t functioning, your brain is working and that is enough to dream and work on your dreams to make them come true.”

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