I am Anushka Sharma, a five year old girl child and I think I am beautiful, too! I was admitted to the ‘UDAAN Creche ’- a special needs section in ‘Jan Seva’, on 06.05.14, at the age of 5 years (D.O.B:02.06.2009). I was born in Chittaranjan Seva Sadan, with a swelling in my lower- back region (Lumbrosacral region swelling with dimple present), diagnosed by the Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences as Left Lateral Myelomeningocele and Tethered cord syndrome. In this institute, I was operated at 7 months of age which resulted in the excision of lipoma and detethering of cord on 04/01/10. I have been facing a condition with physical disability known as ‘Spina Bifida’.
My parents were referred to ‘UDAAN’ by Mr. Arijit Ghosh of IICP. I had no control over my bladder or bowel movement. SICW decided to admit me in ‘UDAAN’ believing that every child has a right to education! Decision was taken to provide me with a diaper every day (as this was the reason why I would not step out of my home) and medical treatment, when ever required. A special-chair was made for me to make me to sit comfortably in the Creche; with belts, foot-support and a cut out tray was attached to it for better posture, comfort and convenience.
My father’s name is Mr. Amit Sharma and he works in an electronic shop and earns Rs. 4000/-per month. My mother’s name is Mrs. Shobha Sharma and she is a house-wife. We live in our own house (semi-concrete) in 57/2, Bondel Rd. Kolkata – 700019.
While I was in ‘UDAAN’, I had received appropriate intervention from the physiotherapists of IICP, who attended the bi-monthly clinics in Jan Seva. Mr. Simpson, the in-house therapist of ‘UDAAN’ also guided my parents, twice a week, by checking my exercises. With regular physiotherapy sessions in the ‘Jan Seva’ clinic and with prosthetics such as gaiters, AFO’s and K-Walker, I had learnt to stand independently for a few minutes and had the courage to walk a few steps. Ultimately, with constant endeavour and relentless effort I had learnt to stand up by holding on to objects and could balance myself and my mobility had improved tremendously. Blessed with normal intelligence, SICW was convinced that the right platform for me would be an integrated school which would enable me to progress and evolve as an independent, self-sufficient individual. Therefore an initiative was taken by SICW to assist and guide my parents to admit me to ‘Union Chapel School’ (an English medium school) in 2016 in KG class. SICW has also found a sponsor for me to continue my education in the above mentioned school. This proved to be a great support to enable me to continue with my education and provide financial relief to my parents.
At present, I have been promoted to class 3 and have received an award for the subject ‘Hindi’, for performing well in my final exams. I have received a pair of elbow crutches from my sponsor and that has made me more mobile and has assisted me to go to school daily.
I am very grateful to SICW, ‘Pathways to Children’ and my present sponsors who have, together, shaped my life into mainstream education. This has assisted me to evolve in a holistic manner, building my confidence and independence.