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Against all odds

Shreya after her surgery
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Whether you believe that storks bring children into this world from the heavens or that surgeons are their gateways into this world, you have to agree on one thing – children are delicate. They deserve tender love and care. But this story is about a little girl fighting against all odds in her life.

Meet Shreya. She was found abandoned at birth by the local police and brought to a child care institution in Maharashtra. As if this was not enough of a tragedy, Shreya was born with the congenital deformity of hands and legs.In other words, her hands were shorter than what should be, her paws twisted inwards and her fingers mostly unmovable. Her legs, which mostly consisted of her feet, were curved, making her unable to walk.

Despite all these physical deformities, Shreya was a survivor. She was 3 years old when she came to Bal Asha, looking for a loving home and a better life. Once here, she was seen by some of the best orthopedic surgeons in town. Her surgeries were planned meticulously, since she would require many in the future. The first of the series was an 8 hour surgery on her legs.

You would think that this would break down her little mind and body. It didn’t. She came out stronger than ever. Even though she was covered in bandages, she was all smiles and eager to be the center of attraction. She even told the hospital staff that their food was better compared to the rest of the hospitals that she had been in.

Shreya was adored by everyone: hospital authorities, fellow patients and Bal Asha staff. Shreya loved being part of Bal Asha and often spoke to the hospital staff about her experiences at the center. In fact, the level of care that the Bal Asha staff provided to the young girl was such that nurses and doctors would be shocked to learn that Shreya’s caretaker was not her birth mother.

She was a naturally happy child who loved attention. Never mind the fact that she underwent life-threatening surgeries. Never mind the fact that she couldn’t eat with her own hands. She still didn’t give up. To this day, she tries hard to eat all by herself, refusing help. She tries to put a pencil between her toes so that she can scribble on paper. She loves to sing and dance. However, at the end of the day, she is still a child who throws the occasional tantrum when things don’t go her way. She had tears in her eyes when she realized that she was having difficulty placing four fingers on the Adhar card machine due to her disability. She is like any other child, just with extra bouts of courage and confidence, and now, with an Adhar card.

Shreya will always be a winner and at Bal Asha, we want to celebrate that. She still needs the loving care and protection that only a family can provide and so, we are still searching for a permanent home for her. Irrespective of when she finds her feet, literally and figuratively, Bal Asha will always be with her.

Be with us for Shreya and other children like her.  Make a donation this festive seasons towards Medical Aid. Every little support counts.

Greeshma Rajeev

Volunteer at Bal Asha Trust

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