Dubai: A 23-year-old Indian man, whose life changed forever after a freak accident rendered him a quadriplegic, is desperate for help to get back to mainstream society.
"I would like to work. Please give me a chance," said Carl Noronha, who has come a long way since a near fatal fall in October 2007.
A sporty teenager then, Noronha was attending a cultural programme at the India Club in Dubai. The programme kept him out till midnight. When he returned to his apartment in Deira, he found he did not have the keys.
So he decided to go to the terrace and enter the house through an open kitchen window. But when he tried to climb a drainage pipe to get there, it gave way, sending him crashing down the two-storeyed building.
The incident left him paralysed from the waist down. Today, a series of spinal surgeries later, he moves around in a powered wheelchair. Continuous sessions of physiotherapy and artistic yoga have improved his overall health. But, with limited mobility, his days just drag on.
Noronha spends most of his time reading books, papers or on the computer. "I have completed my Grade 12 and am fairly good with computers and can communicate well," he said, working on the laptop with his knuckles.
"I would like to work in a customer service division in a bank, hotel or the service industry, even if it is for a couple of hours in the day," he said.
"I would love to work in a music or sports showroom where I can direct people to the right stuff," added Noronha, an avid music and sports lover.
His mother, Jennifer Noronha, said he needs a customised vehicle with a ramp facility for better mobility.
"But it's beyond our means and we would be grateful for any help," she said, adding, "As of now, we carry him and put him into a vehicle whenever we take him out. And we need three people to do that."
She said the family welcomes any suggestion that would help Noronha become more independent and integrate with mainstream society.
"We are also looking for volunteers to spend time with him, upgrade his skills or even help him work from home."
She said he has been out of touch with the world for the past four years and is keen to catch up on lost time.
While life will never be the same again, the family hopes Noronha will find his place in the sun - with some help.
HOW YOU CAN help Noronha
1 Find a suitable job for him
2 Pitch in with funds so that he can buy a customised vehicle
3 Volunteer to spend time with him or take him out
4 Teach skills so that he can work from home
Write to firstname.lastname@example.org to tell us how you would like to help Noronha