20th December 2023
Disabled man turns page with stationery company
At a factory in Lhasa, capital of southwest China's Xizang autonomous region, wheelchair user Jole inspects finished goods while his employees, many of whom have disabilities, carry out their work around him.
Jole, 36, is the founder of a company that sells Tibetan calligraphy stationery. He began using a wheelchair after an accident paralyzed him from the waist down while he was at university 14 years ago.
He said the accident almost destroyed him. After years of inner conflict, he began to seek positive change and embraced a new way of life.
"I always felt like a burden on my family. It was time to lift myself up," he said.
In 2011, Jole attended a job fair organized by the local disabled persons' federation. He submitted over 20 resumes but received no responses. It was then that the young man had the idea to start his own business.
Amid economic challenges, Jole embarked on his entrepreneurial journey with 70,000 yuan ($9,800) that he received from his family, and an additional 85,000 yuan in government support.
Fueled by a passion for Tibetan calligraphy, Jole established his own company, Tuogang, in 2016. The name is a transliteration of the Tibetan word for "plateau" and symbolizes the expansion of opportunities in Mandarin. He aspired to provide more opportunities for individuals with disabilities like himself, he said.