“Faizan is a five-year-old kid living with his mother and three other siblings in a rented house at Kacchi Khajuri a slum area located at the periphery of East Delhi. The area is mainly stacked with thousands of tons of garbage and litter around its outskirts. One can easily choke his throat with the pungent smell and odour. During one of my visits to collect information regarding the number of special need and differently able individuals, I had an encounter with this kid Faizan.
Faizan’s mother told me that her husband died due to heart attack and now she is the only one to take care of all her children. While asking about Faizan, she told me that Faizan doesn’t speak and he wasn’t even able to stand on his own by the time he turned four. This was something which worried me a lot so I took him to few government hospitals but doctors kept on delaying his case and I was totally confused. Then one of my relatives told me to seek for therapeutic services for Faizan. So, I started working overtime since then, to earn more money with which now Faizan is able to take occupational therapy services twice a week.
“I leave home at 10 am after feeding kids and leaving them at my sister’s house. I cook food and clean the houses of people to earn a living for my children. Rest three children go to government school, Faizan is the youngest one but now I am satisfied that my efforts have made my child stand on his own feet and inshallah ek din bolne bhi lagega ( will start speaking one day for sure ). It is not possible for me to provide him therapies each day as they are too expensive for people like us. So I keep exercising his limbs as suggested by the therapists.” said Faizan’s mother.
The main reason of the child’s disability is surely lack of awareness, scarcity of medical services from the government as there are hardly any government early interventional therapeutic centres , lack of counseling support, community support and negative outlook of the society towards these children. The private services are available but it’s merely impossible for kids like Faizan to meet the cost of their charges on a regular basis. Whereas talking about the educational part of these children only 1 ℅ of these children in our country makes into schools even there also they are mostly put into separate special schools the ones which can afford going to international schools are also discriminated which henceforth comes out to be a very challenging aspect for the child and the parents to cope up with.
Faizan’s mother is a true inspiration for me because only a mother can do such hard work for her child. She even told me that nobody ever came to their home for Faizan and they are so glad to have me here.
Submitted By – Nikhil Tomar (Consultant : Special Education Teacher registered under Rehabilitation Council Of India)