Mom's death turns her dreams to dust
Incapacitated girl and a gutsy, loving mother challenged adversity together
Nineteen-year-old Vaishnavi’s dreams lie in ruins.The physically challenged girl, who studies II BA at the St Aloysius College, lost her sole emotional and physical support on Friday night when Shashi, her mother, passed away.
She died of pneumonia and respiratory problems.Vaishnavi and Shashi shot to fame three years ago, when the daughter-mother duo began studying in the same college, St Aloysius Evening College here. Shashi was in BA final year, while her incapacitated daughter was in the second year. Shashi, 36, used to carry her daughter, whose limbs, barring her right hand, are completely incapacitated.
Vaishnavi wanted to do her masters, and Shashi, who never lost faith in her daughter’s ability, used to be mother, companion, facilitator and emotional support to the apple of her eye.To strengthen her daughter’s resolve, Shashi, decided to take the SSLC exam along with her daughter in April 2009. Vaishnavi, a physically challenged girl, started to move at the age of five and crawled until she was eight.
She was admitted to the Silicon Valley Residential School at Sahakarnagar in Bangalore in 2004 and discontinued her studies after 2nd standard as she was forced to move to Mangalore along with her mother, due to family problems.
However, no school in Mangalore was ready to accept Vaishnavi as she was physically challenged. Determined to help her daughter in realising her dreams, Shashi approached St Aloysius Night School, which readily agreed to admit her.
Against all odds Shashi carried Vaishnavi to school and sat in the class to assist her daughter. A few months later, Shashi too thought of writing SSLC exams. Despite odds, both completed the exam successfully. Jubilant over their success, Shashi had told this correspondent: “Vaishnavi’s desire to study gives me strength to carry her.”
The two later completed PU and were presently pursuing BA in St Aloysius Evening College. Shashi would lock Vaishnavi inside the house whenever she went out on work. “On several occasions, I return home around 8 pm and I was always worried about Vaishnavi, especially when the power goes off, as my daughter is unable to light even a candle. But she faces all odds bravely,” Shashi had said. Shashi had told Deccan Herald that she had great regards for St Aloysius School as it had opened the doors to her future when all others had closed. After completion of her BEd, she wanted to teach the less privileged in the same school. Fr Melvin John, the administrator of St Aloysius Evening College, said they have already initiated steps to arrange for Vaishnavi’s future. “We are concerned about Vaishnavi, as she is incapacitated and the only person who looked after her is no more,” he said. Shashi’s dreamt of making Vaishnavi walk by herself. “Everyday, I massage my daughter’s legs and hands with oil as per the direction of physiotherapist and I hope she will be able to walk independently soon,” she had hoped. Now, Vaishnavi is left with only the wishes and hopes of her mother.