by Hemant Bondre
Every person in his/her life dreams of some positive thing to happen and acts accordingly. In most of the cases the result turns out to be good. However, sometimes in somebody’s life, Destiny has different to offer. And that is what happened in my life about 33 years ago. Generally, the birth of a baby multiplies joys & happiness among family members. However in our family when our daughter was born, the happiness was accompanied with lots of worries in mind.
A baby girl was born to us on 2nd May 1980. She was quite nice looking, very fair, but with lot of deformities. It was a terrific shock to all our family members, rather everyone was stunned to see such child. Due to premature delivery, the child had to be kept in incubator. Since her weight was very less, the milk to the child had to be fed through a nozzle tube. It was a difficult to face the reality, but myself & my wife, Hema, decided to accept the challenge and to shoulder the responsibility to bring her back to life. The child was named Suchitra.
As the months passed, on the advice of the Pediatrician, we consulted Dr. Arwade, a renowned Orthopedic surgeon. After examining her thoroughly, he advised two major surgeries on Suchitra, one on twisted toe & the other on hip joint dislocation. When she was 9 months old, the first major surgery was done wherein her right toe, which was in opposite direction, was corrected, which is called Z type surgery. Both her legs were in plaster from waist to toe for 3 months.
When she was 2 & half years old Dr.Arwade advised us for another major surgery for correction of hip joint dislocation. During consultation, he took both of us in confidence & told us about the seriousness of this surgery. Dr Arwade took a second opinion of Dr Dholkia from Mumbai & requested Dr Pachore, his assistant to help in this surgery. The surgery lasted for more than 6 hours. I was under a lot of tension & was down with heavy fever. When the surgery was successfully over, Dr Pachore told me this good news which gave us a sigh of relief. Again her legs were in plaster for 3 months.
These three months were full of mental tension for me & Hema. It was very difficult to handle the baby even for nature’s calls because she had a plaster from waist to toe in 60 degree angle .Today while writing this script I do not know how we spent those 3 months.
It was our feeling that once the plaster is removed she would start walking immediately. But Destiny had something different in mind. Even after one week of removal of plaster there was no sign of progress in walking. Dr Arwade gave us confidence saying that during the period that she was in plaster, the child has totally forgotten the walking stage. In his opinion she would again crawl, then try to stand up & then walk .In reality it happened exactly what the Doctor had said.She started walking after one month but with limping leg .This is so because since birth there is a difference of one and half inch in her legs.
Though she had these two deformities since birth, fortunately, her brain development is normal. Her admission to the school was also a challenge for us. Due to an abnormality in walking, the school principal was reluctant to admit her along with normal children. But ultimately she got admission in the same school.
By the grace of God, academically her progress was quite satisfactory. She got 1st class in SSLC and 2nd class in BCom & LLB Exams. She won many prizes in Debating Competition at Inter-school & Inter-collegiate level. She is a winner in many singing competitions too. She plays the harmonium and got through exams of Gandharv Sangeet Vidyalaya. In spite of her physical limitations, she learnt cycling & swimming. In fact from 5th Std. to B Com level she used to go to school/college on cycle covering a distance of about three Kms one way. When she joined Law college, she started using regular Scooty with two side wheels.
After completion of LLB in 2007, she joined the Lokmanya Multipurpose Co-OP Society as legal advisor. She worked there for 7 months. In mid 2007 Union Bank of India’s advertisement was published for vacancies in clerical cadre. For physically challenged candidates there was only one vacancy in the State, for which 37 candidates appeared for exam. She was successful in all the criteria of appointment & posted at our R.P.D College branch in April 2008.Incidentally, in 2010 she was declared the Best CTO of Belgaum Region & was honored.
In general, all parents look forward for their daughter’s/son’s marriage once the graduation is over & they are employed. We were also not exception to this thinking. We tried for our daughter’s better half, basically, with some deformity but self supportive. This is so because a normal person would not accept his partner with deformity. For nearly 2-3 years we tried from different sources to find a suitable match for her. But we could not succeed in that process because the percentage of higher education among physically challenged grooms is less. For her security & safety in advanced age we had to think of some different avenue.
This thinking gave us an idea of adoption of a child by her who would look after her in future life, at the same time, contributing to a social cause by providing HOME to an orphan child. Since Suchitra had studied Law, she knew that Hindu unmarried woman can adopt a child. She made up her mind to remove the issue of marriage from her life & go for adoption of a child for better future. The adoption process is very lengthy & involves a lot of legal documentation process. We completed this legal part & ultimately, 18th July 2010, was a special day for us when we got a message from the orphanage to take the child home. We decided to bring the child home on 30th July 2010, when the baby boy was only four months old. He is now three years & nine months old.
The entry of a small child in our family, has not only changed our life style but it has also brought a dramatic change in Suchitra’s life. All our day -to- day activities are concentrated on SOHAM. We heave a sigh of relief, now that there would be someone to take care of Suchitra when the time comes.
This decision of adoption of a child by Suchitra, being physically handicapped, should be an ideal direction for women like her. We had taken up the challenge at the birth of Suchitra, to teach her to lead a normal life, by positive thinking. This positive thinking alone showed the path to come out of difficult situations in her life. By the grace of God, Soham’s entry in our family is a milestone decision & would give us happiness in our life.
For such exceptionally splendid work, many institutions from Belgaum have honored Suchitra. Many known & unknown people have congratulated her for this decision. We feel, we have done justice by giving a HOME to an orphan child.