Thrissur: A leg damaged beyond repair did not stop Mohammed Ashraf from dreaming big. Armed with a burning desire to overcome his handicap, powered by grit and resolve, the youth from Parlikkad in Thrissur's Vadakkancherry packed his bags and embarked on a 4,200 km trip on his bicycle.
Having realised his dream of reaching Khardung La in Leh, Ladakh, located at an elevation of 17,982 ft, Ashraf is planning to get his right foot amputated on returning home and get a prosthetics, as doctors have been advising him.
Ashraf had plans to cycle to Ladakh when his foot was damaged in an accident on August 27, 2017. He underwent several surgeries, before he could make a few steps, and the cycle became his companion.
Before embarking on the Ladakh trip, he pedalled to Ooty and Kodaikanal, which boosted his morale. But six months ago, he had to again undergo treatment, and doctors recommended amputating the leg.
Ashraf, however, requested them to delay the process. Once he was confident that he could travel, the man set off for Ladakh on July 19 from Vadakkumnatha Temple premises. Ever since, he has been recording his progress on Muthu Vlogs, his YouTube channel.
Ashraf's progress has been slow, but steady. En route he contracted the coronavirus, and was down with acute asthma and pneumonia. He reached Jammu on August 30, and another 12 days of pedalling took him to his destination at Khardung La. He will be returning to Kerala on his bicycle.
"I will get my leg amputated after reaching Kerala and get a prosthetic limb," he said.