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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

shilpa is twelve years

Thirteen years have rolled away ,it seems it was just yesterday that our daughter Shilpa slipped away ,
She lived for eleven years in a world of silence bearing her problems with a patience unexplainable ,a benign smile on her face sullened by her recurrent problems .
For us it was eleven years of mixed emotions ,
devastating the day we knew that she would be a different child ,
eleven years of hope and despair in turns .
We chased specialists and superspecialists many of whom who were ignorant and unhelpful and at times blatantly cruel in thier predictions ,
From nonchalance to ridicule we faced all as it came on and off ,but in the midst of all this her smile ,innocence ,charm and patience gave us joy .
Her small achievements gave us immense pleasure .
There were many who made the day for us ,
the rare few who had empathy and understood us ,
Even the few who avoided us in silence ,as they felt we would be hurt ,

We can never forget the day we took her to a special school in Cochin for the first time and the special educator told us what could be achieved by training ,so temple visits gave way to intervention meausres and its differences

And then one fine day

( no not fine at all )

she who opened the world of special children to us left us in vacum ,

In the year that followed Shilpas school was born though she died

It required commitment and missionary zeal and only a mother could have it

Today with more than 140 disabled attending its training centre and special school in a well equipped building from 6months to 42 years ,it is an achievement indeed .

Some have come and gone like Shilpa did ,but many have grown in our school ,they come in the morning from thier homes in the bus and van from different places and spend the day as per thier need in special education ,early intervention ,vocational rehab and physiotherapy .

the parents are given a special place with thier association taking several responsibilities in running the shool ,the society members contribute thier mite and comitted volunteers are an integral part of the Shilpa family .

shilpa school is known for its annual days in the presence of celebrities

our children perform with joy trained by thier teachers ( music teacher is visually handicapped ) .It is an eyeopener to the public to know that such children with broken bodies and minds can be creative though differently

The school remembers Shilpas love for travel by its frequent picnics and day tours

the stories are many........

when Tony was brught by his mother for the first time she wanted some poison for her and her son as he was getting constantly beat by the neighbours for his naughy acts and the angry welts on his back was the proof ,after coming to shcool he mellowed into a calm & polite lad

and stunned his neighbours ,just goes to show how much attention and love could do for these children ,
some parents have more than one child who are disabled ,
Sadiq ( name changed ) working hard carrying water jars up tall flats in hot UAE remembers his children and his poor family as he does his work and hoping to see them in the once in a two year leave he has ,

Reddy a student works hard in sticking covers ( the bigger children get payed for thier work ) as he wants to earn more to buy a frock for his niece like any other uncle

jill is split from her husband and with a special child to add to her burden ,the school sponsors her to do an one year course and she is absorbed as a teacher ,

parents and siblings are motivated to do courses and join the school ,some of the poorer parents join as helpers

and in this this twelve years Shilpa is looking to its next dream of a bigger centre in its new land ,a building which would have a parent training ,resisdential and respite centre and bigger vocational centres

shilpa left at eleven years but was instrumental in leaving behind a memory which would last for ever


Dr Abraham Varghess said...

Don't cry because it came to an end. Smile because it happened.

It was the beginning of many good things which you wouldnot have done otherwise.
May God bless you in all your endeavours.

With lots of love

Dr Abraham Varghese

Anonymous said...

awesome blog acha i can feel how u felt abt shilpa chechi though i dint see her

PROMOD said...

Harietta...Shilpu still remain in my heart and thoughts so fresh. I am sure that those who have met her would never evert forget her.

sandhya suresh said...

Dear Dr Hari,

Blessed are you and your family.
So many needed ones are now "so special" in your hands.

sandhya suresh

A reflective self! said...

Dr Hari

I would say, shilpa was an angel who brought you the mission and you both were brave and kind hearted to take it aboard.

Being emotional and talking about the 'special ones' are what most of us do (including me), you both acted on it and that is what makes you so different.

All the best wishes for all your efforts


mahesh said...

God chooses special people to take care of his special angels. Not all of us have the patience and boundless love to offer these chldren. You & Premi were one of the chosen ones. It is little wonder that you are continuing to take care of God's children. He I am sure will give you more love & more patience to guide many more Shilpas through your Shilpa.

Dinesh Nambiar said...

Dear Hari,
Shilpa has transformed your life to be special and you have made the mission bountyful,Congrats and keep up the good work.God Bless

Dr.Gursharan said...

Dear Hari,
God has his means to select few by his own mysterious ways who will make a difference to special people who actually are angels designed by God to be highly innocent just like a lotus in the pond.
May God bless you and give you courage to keep doing the good work.

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