March 28, 2005

Inspiration for the day

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Rajan Kaippally and Leelamma, Theeram, Kozhuvalloor, Chengannur, Pathanamthitta


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“Job, beauty, health… we had everything.  And I used to feel proud of them too.  But God removed them one by one.  Perhaps it was His Will to mould me,” says Leelamma, whose son Robin is wheel-chair borne with inability to talk.  This personal tragedy completely changed their lives and they now lead social workers’ lives at Kozhuvalloor, Chengannur.

9 years ago, Leelamma was an efficient nurse at All India Institute of Medical Science, New Delhi and her husband Rajan Kaippally was an employee in a travel agency.  Coming to terms with the magnitude of their son’s handicap, they both resigned their jobs and returned to Kerala.  While the absence of fixed jobs brought its own anxiety, they were now better able to understand the pain of similarly affected parents and their children.

Coordinating with the State Handicapped Development Corporation, they tried to procure different tools for physically challenged children.  Besides they started visiting families with mentally retarded children and render possible help and assistance.

Today Rajan is the coordinator of India Centre for Social Change.  ‘Theeram’ is a voluntary organization for mentally challenged children.  11 children from nearby places attend the day care here.  There are instructors to train them in small skills.  Robin is one of the 11 children.

They live in a portion of ‘Theeram’.  Often the other children sit beside him and wipe his face and play with him.  At other times, his mother takes him by wheelchair to be in the classroom.  Hearing the songs of his friends, his face gets lit up.

Rajan and Leelamma were for a shock when they realized that their new born baby was not normal.  Lack of oxygen at birth had led to cerebral damage and consequent mental retardation and loss of speech.

Stroking young Robin’s head, the parents say: “He is the one who has made us think of the sorrows of others.  Now we wish to live and die as social workers.”


Courtesy: Jolly Adimathra (text), Sudheer Fames (photo), Gruhalakshmi, January 2005

Contributed by: Administrator 


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