My son has Cerebral Palsy but that never holds him back from imagining beyond limits! He flies with the Avengers, talks to Yoda and Darth Vader and dances with his imaginary girlfriend/wife! My husband sometimes tells me isn’t this weird and I tell him I used to do all of this and I turned out fine! Probably what we both perceive as “fine” is different! :) Jokes apart, I take pride in seeing my son growing up without boundaries.
Today is World Disability Day.
I got this amazing opportunity today to be part of Deepti Special School and Rehabilitation Centre, Adoor, India’s virtual celebration commemorating World Disability Day.
Deepti Special school is helmed by Mathew sir and Susan teacher who are parents to a child with Cerebral Palsy. They lived in the UK where they were receiving world class treatments and therapies for their son. Once when they visited their hometown they saw that children with special needs there didn’t have any such facilities and opportunities. So they selflessly decided to live in Adoor and start a centre to help children with special needs. Now this is a feat I would never do. I decided to not leave the US for the schooling and facilities my son receives here. I would never think about helping other children more than my own son. I shamelessly accept I’m selfish! But this couple decided to leave everything behind to help other children in need!
Last vacation I happened to visit Deepti School and I was so overwhelmed with joy to see all the differently abled children being offered therapies, food, vocational studies and regular schooling for free. Most of them are children from poor homes who cannot even afford proper medication but still did not give up on their children. I delivered in a top notch hospital in Bangalore and when my son was in the NICU for 3 months, I saw innumerable people deciding to unplug the life support of premature babies for various reasons. I’m not judging them. They probably have their own reasons which definitely were more practical and was the right one for their family at that time. What I’m trying to say is these parents too would have been given this choice, but they chose to raise their differently abled children. It is our duty to help these parents and children to live a normal life.
Today when I saw all the programs these children had organized, I couldn’t help but be teary eyed! The commitment and compassion in each of them shone bright in their performance. When I developed a speech ataxia after my stroke, I became so conscious of talking that I made a fool of myself on different stages. I was so nervous of going wrong. But these children had no two qualms about performing or going wrong. They enjoyed their dancing and singing and fancy dress. Performed with detailing but didn’t forget to have fun!
It’s after becoming a mother of a child with special needs that I started understanding them better. The purity and innocence of their heart is so genuine. I see this everyday through my son. He’s so kind and giving and appreciates how much all his caregivers help him.
Even after seeing this everyday, I fell prey to this idea that has been instilled in us since c childhood that ‘if we offer big things to God, we will get bigger things in return’! I kept praying and offering things to different temples all across India wishing to see improvement in my son but it’s now that I realize the biggest prayer we can offer God is serving His lesser fortunate children and people.
What Deepti does is not a small feat. They struggle to survive in Kerala to get grants and approvals. The Kerala state government has decided to cut down the annual educational scholarship for differently abled children. I’m sure this is another challenge they are going to face.
Now is your opportunity to give back to this community in need. You can donate to Deepti and help their cause.
If you are planning to donate from an Indian Bank in Indian rupees, this the account details:
Deepti Educational and Charitable Foundation
The Federal Bank Manakala
Acc. number 16950100021359
And if you wish to donate from your bank overseas in the currency of your country, this is the account details:
Deepti Educational and Charitable Foundation
Swift code/Mic Code FDRLINBBIBD
I wish all angels and saviors and survivors a happy World Disability Day. If you or your loved one are differently abled, you must know that perseverance, courage and human spirit is something no disability can take away. This is why you are called “differently abled” and not “disabled” because each of you have abilities in your very special own way!
May God bless you!