Bhubaneswar: Love is in the air. It’s Valentine’s Day and couples are ready to celebrate it in a big way.
But for these Bhubaneswar couples, everyday is a Valentine’s Day.
Jitendra Kumar Biswal, a quadriplegic, is in a relationship with a normal girl. His life partner, Shefali Mohanty. has left her job in Dubai to stay with him forever.
“Should I expect more than this? Though, she knew about my condition, she left her job in Dubai and came to stay with me. For us everyday is Valentine’s Day,” beamed Jitendra.
Jitendra and Shefali came in contact with each other through Facebook. After conversations and chats, they fell in love.
“She came to meet me from Dubai on the first day of Raja festival in 2016. In those days I was busy in a film shooting. We met in a hotel in Bhubaneswar. Then she finally moved to Bhubaneswar in November 2016. Since then, we have been staying together,” Jitendra shared.
“I belong to a Hindu family and she is a Christian. Though, we did not have any problem, we didn’t go for marriage. Marriage is not everything for us. After taking permission from both of our families, we decided to stay in a live-in relationship,” he added.
Jitendra belongs to Bargarh and Shefali is from Cuttack. But, now they have set up house in Bhubaneswar.
Jitendra is an actor and an disability rights activist. Shefali also works for the same cause.
Jitendra’s movies, ‘Two Desires And A Dream’, ‘The Man On A Mission’ and ‘My Attitude My Life Despite My Disability’ have been quite popular among audiences.
“For us, love is having that care, commitment, trust, and loyalty for your life companion. These are the basic primary pillars of any strong and stable relationship. And, we believe a person with disability is capable of having and expressing these virtues, as effectively as any other able-bodied person,” Jitendra and Shefali said.
Bhubaneswar-based dancer Harihar Deo has also proved that disability cannot be a barrier.
Born without arms, Harihar is a dancer both by passion and profession.
Like his professional life, Harihar, who was born in Ganjam district, is also successful in his personal life.
“We had an arranged marriage. Our family members fixed our marriage in 15 days. Though it was difficult to say yes to wed a physically-disabled person, my wife Parbati agreed to marry me,” said Harihar.
“Parbati’s relatives knew me earlier through my dance programmes. Her relatives told her about me. My mother also told her about my disability. Still she agreed to marry me. I am really very happy for this,” he added.
“My family members love her a lot. She also loves my family members. I am also a light minded guy. I always try not to give her tension. She also tries to do the same and she is also very helpful,” he said.
They got married in 2019 and they have a four-month-old daughter.
“Whether it is love marriage and arranged marriage, you should love your spouse till the end of your life,” said Harihar.
Harihar has also received a Rastrapati award in 2009. “A dance programme was organised at Rashtrapati Bhavan. We have performed there and I received the Rashtrapati award,” said Harihar.
“Dance has been my passion since childhood. I also opened an academy here in Bhubaneswar in 2006. Both differently-abled and normal students are taking dance training in my academy,” said Harihar.
“For us everyday is a Valentine’s Day. We have good understanding and compatibility,” said 33-year-old Harihar.