The hands of S Kannappan, a 26-year-old visually-challenged person, deftly detect the problem in a two-wheeler in no time, just by feeling it. Having found the glitch, he goes about fixing it, just like any other mechanic.
The sole breadwinner of his family. Kannappan says, “I don’t like to show my disability or beg for others’ help. I’m happy, as I earn a decent sum every month from my work.”
Kannappan lost his sight when he was just four years old. Not letting that bog him down, he began working on cycles when he was 15. The resolute young man, who has a two-wheeler workshop at Achadikara Theru in Woraiyur near his house, says. “I do everything related to mechanical work trusting my sense of touch and hearing.” Twisting the throttle of a bike to determine the fault, he confidently declares, “I can detect the problem through the vibration or an odd sound from the engine or other parts. I can even find out the type of vehicle from its sound.”
The most challenging job for Kannappan is to identify malfunctions linked to wires, as they are usually spotted by the colour of the cable. “Here too I feel around for the power supply and fix it,” he says proudly.