Stories

Atul’s Story

Every patient has a unique story to share. That’s why we reached out to a Thalassemia patient to hear their story in person. This is about Atul Sharma, a twelve year thalassemia patient from a small village near Alwar (Rajasthan).

“I don’t remember when I was diagnosed with thalassemia major, but my parents told me I was around one-year-old,” said Atul Saini. “I’ve been under treatment for as long as I can remember. Every three weeks, I receive a blood transfusion to maintain my level of healthy red blood cells. At the times of my routine transfusion, when I meet the other children like me, it makes me feel stronger to fight with my disease. And the sweet smile and caring nature of Pooja Didi makes me forget of all the pain and doubts. Every time I get gifts and good food also.”

Father RamSharan Saini feels heartily grateful to Vanshika Arts Education and Welfare Society because for being a small farmer his financial situation is not good enough for managing all the medical and nutritional expenses for his son. The society is facilitating the regular blood transfusion, yearly tests and the nutritional supplies as well. “I have seen the god in the form of these people.” With tears in his eyes Ram Sharan says. “For a poor who is only capable enough to arrange the food for his family, it would be impossible to save the life of his only child if these angles would not come from heaven. Pooja ji is a compassionate lady and treats Atul all children like him as her own children. Now I see my son laughing and growing.”

Today Atul is studying in class 6 and studying is his passion. Seeing his enthusiasm and potential in the academics, society is sponsoring his studies and related expenses. He wants to become a doctor so that he can help the other children with thalassemia. He feels that it is the only way to return what he has received from Vanshika Arts Education Welfare society and its team.

I am a proud mother of a special child

We all have dreams and expectations about our future, but destiny always has some specific ways to surprise us. After two years of our marriage, we had Arsh in our life. That little boy was the entire world to me and my husband Sumit. His innocent smile, little fingers and beautiful eyes made us feel like most blessed parents in the universe.

But as the time passed, we found that Arsh’s mental growth was not as good as his physical growth. He took a longer time to understand things, responding to any action or voice and was not good in learning new things. We decided to follow patience and tried our best to teach him the small things which the other children learn by themselves. At the age of three, we planned to send him to school. But many schools rejected to give admission to him and the few others surrendered within a week or two after admission. We both were very disappointed, helpless and stressed. Our stress was reflecting our personal relationship and also our behaviour with Arsh. We had lost our smile and it was just sadness dark and in our lives.

Then, as a ray of light we got a link of a special care centre for children like Arsh. Vanshika Arts Education and Welfare Society and their volunteers hold our hands when we were all lost. It took a little time, but with their care affection and compassion, they started to bring pleasant changes in Arsh’s personality. They helped him to manage his day to day activities by himself. Now he doesn’t need our help to eat food, he responds to music, TV and cartoons. He loves Tom & Jerry. When he laughs or insists to eat without our help or wants to arrange his bag by himself, it is really a great feeling.

Thanks to VAEWS and especially Pooja Makkar, director of the organization as today my child is making his own life as per his unique specifications. Recently, we figure out that Arsh is very good in drawing, coloring and clay craft making. He received the special recognition in the coloring completion last week for his amazing sense of colors. Once feeling pity, now we are proud parents of Arsh. Thanks a lot VAEWS.

Kamla is now a self- dependent women

Kamla is a self-depended woman. She owns a small stitching and handicraft business in Jaipur. With her team of five assistants, she takes the order for the uniforms of schools and factories. Having a good income her two children go to the nearby school. She is saving money also to buy her own house in the near future. Life seems so easy going and well mannered. Isn’t it!

But it was the other half of the story. Kamala from the period of five years past was a completely different woman. She was married in her childhood with a farmer boy. When crops were not good enough to repay the loan taken by her father-in-law, so the money lender was about to take their land. Kamla, with his husband and a son of three months came to Metro in search of livelihood. But her problems were not about to end. Very soon, Kamla’s husband got badly alcoholic and had no regular earning. Using abusive words, no money in hand and violence was a routine for her. In the need of money, she started working as a household maid to the nearby colony. But the financial needs were still unfulfilled. And then she was pregnant again.

During her pregnancy time, her neighbour took her to the free medical camp by VAEWS for check up, consultancy, nourishment and medicines. The volunteers gave her the medical as well as the emotional support what she needed the most. After the birth of her second son she was unable to work and earn the basic needs for her family. His husband was also suffering from illness due to excessive alcohol. Life was almost dark and all the doors were closed.

But again VAEWS helped her to stand again. She started to join free classes of stitching and embroidery. Seeing her condition, the society further arranged her a sewing machine and some basic accessories. It took some time, but her hard work reflected in the increasing orders and then in the increasing income. Kamla could manage good food to her children. She also managed the treatment to his husband who was also ready to help her and support her. And like a fairy tale, everything becomes as it should be.

Niyaz got the wings to fly again…

Every eye has a dream…dream to fly…. higher than the sky. But sometimes these dreams seem impossible to be fulfilled when your wings are broken. In this situation only the faith in itself and a helping hand can change the entire universe and can make you fly again.

Nine-year old Niyaz Kareem comes from Jaisalmer, India’s’ far west desert city. He is the younger of the four children of Habibullah Khan, a local laborer who often struggles to make ends meet. Together with his wife and four children, he lives in Mangiyavas, a remote and poor area of Jaisalmer, where many other underprivileged families reside.

If Habibullah’s life wasn’t difficult enough already, Niyaz was diagnosed with polio in 2003, only 5 months after he was born. After a couple of days of high fever followed by weakness in his left leg, Habibullah rushed his baby to the hospital where Niyaz was tested for polio. Unfortunately, the test came back positive. “We had heard about polio before, so when we learnt our son had it, we were very worried,” Habibullah said. “I just didn’t want to accept that Niyaz would not be able to walk his entire life.”

Dealing with despair and hopelessness, the family shifted to Jaipur in order to get better means of earning their livelihood. Polio is a crippling and potentially deadly infectious disease caused by the virus which invades the nervous system and can cause irreversible paralysis. For polio victims, this has often meant lifelong social exclusion. However, Niyaz can walk and goes to school, thanks to the support of orthotic devices and physiotherapy. “We are so happy to see our son walking, no matter a bit slowly and with some support. He is not just like other children, but can live his life among the other children” Niyaz’s father said.

The rehabilitation story of Niyaz is one of many stories of children who have been provided with rehabilitation services by Vanshika Arts Education and Welfare Society. “This initiative of provision of rehabilitation services to such children is an important combination of medical and social rehabilitation,” said Mrs. Pooja Makkar the founder and director of the society. The medical services include provision of orthotic devices, surgical procedures, physiotherapy, as well as regular follow-up services. Niyaz is getting free education and very good in designer candle making. He is very happy and helping his family financially as well.

Khushi is really happy now

It is hard to tell Khushi’s struggles with a blood disorder just by looking at her. She’s happy, energetic and has a smile that would make any heart melt. Khushi is also an example that the gift of life helps others live. Khushi lives with Thalassemia Major and must undergo blood transfusions every three weeks. Going in and out of the blood transfusion, needles, tests and un-skippable medicinal routine is difficult for a child, but Khushi keeps her positive spirit. Her mother couldn’t be more grateful for the generosity of others. “Vanshika Arts Education Welfare Society (VAEWS) has been phenomenal for us.” said Khushi’s mother Sameena Begam. “I know what her life would be without blood transfusion – she wouldn’t live.”

Almost seven year ago, it was a really hard time for Sameena Begam who lost her husband in a road accident and soon she came to know that her one year old daughter has a severe disease that can steel her life too. Treatment was highly expensive. She was very poor, helpless and had no idea of what to do. “I was watching my child getting weak each day and feared that I will lose her forever. That time, with god’s blessing, I met Pooja Ji and she promised me to manage the treatment and care of Khushi. Not only the medical help but Pooja Ji also gave me the emotional and financial support.” Sameema says.

It is the love, care, affection and a feel of responsibility that makes a big difference in someone’s life. Khushi is a very brave girl and she don’t fear the transfusion process. Her heart melting smile makes everyone love her. Today, Khushi is eight year old and goes to school and loves to roam in her neighbourhood on her cycle that VAEWS has provided her. Her world is filled with hope and belief that she can live a longer beautiful life. Yes…Khushi is really happy now.

Muneer

If one has a talent, it can never be kept hidden. Just a small blow of wind is enough to spread the scent of a flower. The same thing happened with Muneer. When he was a child of four years, he lost his eyes in a severe fever. It was a great sorrow for his family that their child can never see again. Father Ahmad Ali was a small vegetable vendor who was unable to get him expensive treatment. The little boy was helpless and sad. In the world of darkness there was his grandmother who sang him the lullabies and devotional songs. Muneer also started to accompany her grandmother in singing.

Few years later, when Muneer was about 10 years old, a NGO (VAEWS) started its activities in their slum. They use to distribute food, medicines and also arrange free classes to children whose parents could not afford their education. Once in a 15th August celebration in the slum colony, when there was a small function arranged by VAEWS and the chief guest was their founder and director Mrs. Pooja Makkar, among many other performances, Muneer also came up with his song. The sweetness of his voice and emotions of a pure soul made the heart of Pooja ji melt to the deep. The tears came from her eyes and she hugged the little boy.

The hidden talent got a mentor. Muneer is now thirteen year old and getting regular music classes sponsored by VAEWS. Along with the singing he can also play harmonium very well. The voice is getting more flourish each day and so his confidence. He wants be famous singer like is ideal Manna De. He also wishes to earn a good amount so that he can help the other poor, helpless and talented children. Because he knows that a hand of help can change the entire life of anyone, in the same way Pooja Ji helped him three years ago.

Story of a lost childhood

It was only 10 months ago that Manju was a little girl wandering the streets of Jaipur, neglected, alone and unloved. No one believed in her, and her future was black. The only daughter of her homeless parents, she only knew the footpath as home. Living at roadside in a small tent in the name of shelter, she saw her parents making bamboo baskets and selling to the people in cars whenever the traffic signal got red. Some time they had enough food for eating and in some others day they had to sleep hungry.

It was almost two years ago when Manju’s father was caught in Dengue and died due to lack of proper care and medical assistance. Her mother was though survived from the disease but was very weak and unable to work. Their condition got worse each day. While mother was unable to work, Manju had to beg on the traffic signals to feed herself and her mother. She had to deal with the scolding of the policemen and more critical thing was that some unsocial people who sometimes used to hold her hand while giving her some money. In the age of 10 years she was much mature, but very disturbed and depressed. And then her mother also died. She had no one take care, to protect.

Then life took a pleasant change as Vanshika Arts Education and Welfare Society came to her life. For Christmas, these volunteers were distributing food and warm clothes to the poor and homeless people then Pooja Ji saw Manju sitting alone and shivering in the cold. Without making a delay, she decided to give shelter and the motherly care to the unfortunate girl. Of course, her life turned around. Today Manju is among the 20 orphans who are being cared and nurtured by VAEWS. They are all given proper nourishment, medical, physical and emotional support. Today Manju goes to school and is very good in poetry. She wants to become a writer in the future and wants to tell the story of her life from being a very unfortunate kid to a most promising teenager who wishes to make the world beautiful and safe for all the children.