Treading a thorny path, yet spreading the inner glow - The New Indian Express

Treading a thorny path, yet spreading the inner glow

Published: 03rd December 2012 09:06 AM

Last Updated: 03rd December 2012 09:07 AM

Why me was a question Sheeba threw at her Gods for many years.

When allergic reaction to some tablets stole her eyesight at the age of 19; many times during the long 14 years of treatment in various hospitals; when her son was detected with autism and again when fate snatched her life partner from her last year. But now she has the answer, one that has put others around in awe of her.

Sheeba B, a visually-challenged woman from a nondescript village, Thachode, near Varkala has braved many odds to set up a Special Education Centre for the differently-abled, which would start functioning from Monday.

Named Mother Touch, it has the support of 10 mothers who have differently-abled children in the panchayat.

Sheeba secured a bank loan and armed with her diploma in Autism Spectrum Disorders, approached mothers with similar fate to launch Mother Touch.

“Had I been blessed with sight and a normal child, I would have never thought about others. Maybe it is  God’s way of telling me what I have been sent for,” the 49-year old mother said.

A medical panel of Child Development Centre has extended help and so has the panchayat officials here.

Sheeba was a Zoology student in Sivagiri S N College, passionately fond of reading and photography, when her world came upside down.

Getting used to darkness took many years. Later she also underwent a rare surgery to transplant her tear glands which had gone dry.

When finally her son Rahul Bhashyam, now a 10-year-old, studying at Njekad LPS was born, her smile returned.

But the child was detected with symptoms of autism soon.

Tragedy struck again when her husband died last year due to cerebral haemorrhage.

The responsibility of looking after an autistic child is back-breaking even for an ordinary parent. For Sheeba, it’s doubly so. But that has only added to her determination.

“These children and their parents need the support of society. Their needs, their ways and their thoughts are so different that mothers like me would know better. That’s why we got together to start the centre,” she said.

If I can take care of Rahul, I can help other kids like him, Sheeba is confident.

A nearby rented house has been turned to Mother Touch and from Monday Sheeba will take on a new life,  displaying a fighting spirit that often the able-bodied lacks.

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