In California, child education plans were introduced
Diagnosed with Down’s syndrome, Zikra is a 14 year-old shy little girl. She hails from a loving family. Money is scarce, but her parents try their best. It’s a pleasure to see Zikra at school. She is a keen learner and loves to interact with her peers.
It was sad to learn that Zikra would have to discontinue her schooling. Her parents were unable to pay even the discounted fees at school. That’s when ACWF stepped in, regularised her fee payment at Adapt(Spastic Society of India), and Zikra joyously got back to school. “She is so excited every morning”, says Zikra’ mother Shajida, “feels like a load is off our hearts, with her education taken care of.
Her father is so relieved, he smiles so much more these days.”
Swapnil, a 16-year-old child with severe Cerebral Palsy, affecting his whole body, had been bound to his bed for several years. His bones had begun to deteriorate due to lack of movement in the body, causing fractures at the slightest force.
Despite the pain from his casts, Swapnil was a happy child. ACWF would send a physiotherapist to his home, to facilitate some movement in his limbs and ensure that his blood circulation was maintained. Swapnil would chat up with the therapist, often mentioning his dream to see his sisters go back to school. Swapnil had three younger sisters, two of who had to drop out of school because their parents could not pay the school fees. With dad working as a night-guard and mom doing odd-jobs, it was difficult to fend for a family of 6.
Taking a cue from Swapnil, ACWF cleared the two-year backlog of fees for his sisters, and paid for the next year too. His dream was fulfilled…Swapnil was overjoyed. It was as though he had been able to fulfil his duty as the older brother. And he had!
Sadly, Swapnil lived just long enough to see his dream come true. He succumbed to his disabling condition on 10th may 2015. In memory of Swapnil’s courageous spirit, ACWF continues to ensure that his sisters are educated. Technically, ACWF supports Special kids, but for Swapnil, we have made an exception. We are sending his neuro-typical, healthy sisters to school. God Bless Swapnil’s soul, he will always be our inspiration.
Brimming with a smile, Aakansha says she wants to do really well in her boards. She wants to give it her best, mostly for her brother Swapnil.
She recalls her younger days, when she would help her mother pick up swapnil and carry him for therapy. Aakansha would grudgingly miss her classes, but her mother needed an extra hand with Swapnil. Her brother would give her a reassuring look and say “Tu tension mat le. Mei tujhe padhaa likhaa ke doctor banaaonga”(You don’t worry, I will ensure you get educated enough to become a doctor one day). She remembers how she would be amused at his words. After all, how could a severely disabled person who couldn’t even take care of himself, take on the responsibility of an elder brother, she would think.
Today, with tears in her eyes, Aakansha says “My bhai is the best brother in the world. He made us a promise, and he lived to see it being honoured.” She refers to ACWF as her ‘Angel’, and promises to make everyone proud.
In addition to her school fees, ACWF pays for her (tenth standard board) extra classes at a local tutorial. This our little attempt at helping Aakansha achieve her dreams.
When Suraj was diagnosed with Torticollis and delayed development at three years of age, his family was devastated. Ever since he was born- a pre-term, low birthweight baby, Suraj’s parents had run around in circles, trying to find a cure for his condition. His dad, a Taxi driver, had spent most of his earnings going from one doctor to another. The final diagnosis at three years of age totally shattered them. Suraj had a benign tumour in his neck, which was inoperable because of its position. It was causing a tilt to Suraj’s head, altering his gait, and causing a change in the structure of his spine and the surrounding muscular tissue. And it would only get worse as Suraj grew up.
Someone suggested alternate medication-Ayurveda. Living off borrowed funds, Suraj’s father took his child to a remote village in Kerala, to an Ayurveda hospital called PAHRC(Padinharkkara Ayurveda Hospital and Research Centre). A couple of weeks, and the alternate medication seemed to be working. While there was little change in the tumour, the muscles in Suraj’s neck, shoulders and back started to get relaxed. Suraj could now walk with minimal pain. His general health also started to improve. But even the borrowed funds were running out, and Suraj’s dad was in dire straits. The hospital reached out to ACWF for help with Suraj’s treatment funding.
ACWF reimbursed the money that Suraj’s dad had borrowed, and paid for the entire stay and treatment of the child. On the recommendation of the treating physician, Suraj was enrolled into a Physiotherapy and Gait-training Centre at Mumbai, on his return. With consistent physiotherapy, ayurvedic oils and medication, Suraj began to improve. The growth of his tumour was arrested.
ACWF continues to send Suraj for his by-yearly follow-up treatments to the Kerala Hospital. Suraj has started attending school again, and is happier than ever.
Zishaan is a bubbly little 7-year old, with a smile that could conquer the world. He was ACWF’s first child, and our inspiration.
Diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, Zishaan could not sit up straight, or stand up, until a few years ago. His father had just lost his job as a driver, and mother was a housewife. They had such frugal means, that the parents would skip their dinner every day, just to save the money for Zishaan’s therapy. All that they could afford was three half-sessions of physiotherapy in a week. And that too with the philanthropic discount that the centre offered. It was a plight the could shatter the strongest hearts. Zishaan was the reason two parents and an educator got together and started ACWF. As a tribute to the parents of Special kids, who sacrifice everything for their children, ACWF vowed to make life better for these kids and their families.
ACWF took on Zishaan’s responsibility as soon as it was registered as an NGO. Intensive Physiotherapy, Neuro-development-therapy, Gait training, Occupational Therapy, everything that Zishaan needed for his development, was provided for.
Today, Zishaan can walk, with support. It’s a proud moment for his parents, as they watch their son step forth, with confidence.