Biren Ghatani, Kalimpong

Biren Ghatani

Biren Ghatani, is an individual who has refused to let life’s adversities hold him back. Our contributor Roshni Rai traces his story

On December 2, 2023, I witnessed a bike accident and rushed to a nearby shop for a water bottle. To my surprise, the shopkeeper, seemingly indifferent to the commotion, stayed put. My initial judgment was swift, I assumed he didn’t care. However, when he suggested I take a Sprite bottle filled with water instead, my perspective shifted.

One of the accident victim

I offered the water to a bleeding boy from the accident.

Returning to the shop later to return the borrowed Sprite bottle, I noticed a wheelchair tucked away in a corner. Curious, I inquired, and the shopkeeper, Mr. Biren Ghatani, confirmed its use.

Feeling remorseful for my hasty judgment, as I looked around, I discovered that Mr. Biren was not idly sitting there. In fact, he was engrossed in knitting a sweater using a machine.

While chatting with him, I got to know that his name is Biren Ghatani – once healthy until 2003, he progressively lost strength below his waist. Despite a decade-long search for a cure, none could be found. He turned adversity into opportunity, self-learning the art of knitting.

Now, Mr. Biren earns his livelihood by crafting sweaters.

I, was already in search of a black sweater for my court winter uniform, and took the opportunity to promptly place an order with him.

Today, I received a call from him to collect the meticulously crafted black sweater for a mere one thousand rupees.

Sweater stitched by Biren Ghatani

Mr. Biren’s shop, nestled in the outskirts of Kallimpong near Hanuman Mandir in Dealo, not only produces sweaters but also exquisite chawbandis. Yet, he expressed his current struggle with scarcity of sweater orders.

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Meeting Mr. Biren left me immensely proud. Despite being wheelchair-bound, he forges a livelihood in an industry he mastered out of necessity. Living in the hills, where sweaters are a necessity, I urge others to support Mr. Biren’s craft by placing orders and contributing to his resilient endeavor.

Contact details of: Biren Ghatani +918927773681

[Roshni Rai is Kalimpong based lawyer and a regular contributor to TheDC platform]

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