Crippled by polio, driven by Mother's force

Crippled by polio, driven by Mother's force

The life of Gautham Lewis, the brain behind Mother Teresa Film Fest

He has travelled far and wide visiting over 100 countries, owns business and has an unflinching passion to take up challenges. 

He is currently on a mission to spread the eternal force of Saint Mother Teresa on screen, with the Mother Teresa International Film Festival (MTIFF).

Gautham Lewis, aged 39, a native of West Bengal, was afflicted by polio when he was barely a few months old. He was lucky to survive, as polio was claiming one in every five newborns in the 1970s. The dreaded virus had left the lower part of Lewis’ body immobile.

When his biological parents could not raise him due to financial constraints, it was Shishu Bhavan, the children’s home run by Missionaries of Charity, founded by Mother Teresa, that gave him shelter. Lewis’ life took a twist when he was adopted by Patricia Lewis and went to live in London, United Kingdom.

Gautham recalled his tryst with ‘Mother’ – as Mother Teresa is called – that he was not just feeling lucky to be blessed by the great soul, but also for infusing strength to break the barrier of ‘crippled by destiny’.

As Gautham explains, he owns ‘Freedom in the Air’ at UK, a flight training academy for physically challenged people, a digital marketing company, besides producing films and pursuing his passion for photography.

On Monday, Gautham was in Mangaluru for the launch of a three-day Mother Teresa International Film Festival (MTIFF) at St Agnes Special School at Bendore. It was the same school Mother Teresa had visited in the city during her life time.

Speaking to reporters, Gautham said, “When Mother was canonised as a saint at Rome, I came down to Kolkata to celebrate the occasion. For me, the sky is the limit, as told by Mother.”

Gautham, who has done his mite during polio eradication drive in India, says, in future, he will return to India, but temporarily. “I want to buy a home either in Kolkata or any part of West Bengal, so that I can spend six months in Kolkata and an equal period of time in UK”, says Gautham.

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