With no hope when you feel the world is your enemy while starving and with no shelter, wandering around with failed limbs and crawling your way to the next and then with every day filled with dread and insecurity makes for quite a scary life. Imagine when all this is faced by a lonely 9-year-old orphan deserted at a station by his relatives he trusted. Surviving day after day with life-threatening challenges faced on the streets are some of the horrid experiences of Manu of 9th Standard in Samarthanam Residential Inclusive Primary and High School.
Manu was found lying down at a station with underdeveloped limbs. The passersby pitied his efforts to crawl from place to place and called in by Mahantesh G Kivadasannavar, Founder Managing Trustee, Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled, a charity in India.
Mahantesh recollects his first encounter with Manu when the child was brought in by Samarthanam mobilizers who vigilantly work towards identifying the economically-challenged underprivileged students and children to orchestrate an equal shot at education for a better lifestyle. He believes Manu was not just scared but too timid to speak with them. They had to facilitate an ambiance where he was given space but at the same time monitoring for improvements. “The ice was broken when the children of our boarding school started involving Manu in the activities during recess and games periods. He then slowly opened up to his teachers and was able to share his post-Samarthanam experiences with me which does not hurt and terrify the boy as it once did.”
Manu’s care-taker and teachers were quite surprised with his progress despite the lack of formal education before Samarthanam. A true miracle was when Manu was able to forsake his wheelchair and could walk without assistance. “It took us by surprise, and we were unable to determine the cause of this drastic change. However, after consulting expert surgeons we were able to draw the conclusion that the positive changes in his life and the promise of security and the familial atmosphere at the residential school were the reasons that ensured this miracle.”
Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled is a charity in India striving towards empowering the persons with disabilities via initiatives related to their Education, Employment, Rehabilitation, etc.