CHENNAI: Father’s Day is just around the corner and most of you might already be planning a surprise party or buying special gifts for your daddy dearest. But there are some fathers who consider not just Father’s Day but every day to be a blessing, as their children are ‘special’. City Express spoke to five fathers, whose kids have various forms of disabilities and here’s what they had to say.
Every day is Father’s day
Badrinath, father of 8-year-old Tarun, who suffers from multiple disabilities says, “My son was a blue baby at birth. He has hearing and speech disability. He can’t walk by himself and needs my assistance constantly.” Badri initially had to quit his job to care for his son. Talking about the bond he shares with his son, he says Tarun jumps with joy whenever he takes his two-wheeler out. “More than talking, his expression and body language show me what he needs. I think that understanding is deeper and not just father’s day, but every other day is special for me. I want to present him a doll that dances and lights up. My son means the world to me,” he smiles.
Oath of Protection
For this father from Andaman, finding a school for his autistic child was a struggle. Harandranath Mistry, father of 12-year-old Shubam, narrates: “There were people who made fun of him. But as a father it’s my first duty to protect him. We spend lots of time together and love travelling and going to the market together.” To him, Father’s Day is about protecting his child and making him independent. “A father should be acknowledged by the achievements of his child, and my son makes me proud every day,” he adds.
Looking beyond Disability
S Akhilesh, a Class 10 student of Vidya Sagar, was diagnosed with cerebral palsy when he was two. But his father Sekhar decided to look beyond his disability, and embrace his condition as it is. “Don’t consider their disability a burden!” says the 49-year-old. Sekhar loves spending time with his son before his bed time. “Every day, he asks for his communication board and asks me questions about what he observed on TV. Then he’ll laugh his way to sleep!” he smiles, and adds that fathers should not hesitate to take their disabled children to public occasions. “So what if your child is disabled? He/she must be treated and looked-after like every other child,” he adds.
An adventurous fatherhood
From shifting to a new city to undergoing 21 corrective operations for cerebral palsy, Aditya’s father Deepak Sharma has been a pillar of support. Deepak’s happiest memory is when his son took him to Australia and London. “He used to tell me that he will take me for a foreign trip,” he says. “In 2003, he got a chance to act in Nala Damayanthi as a child artist. He took us to Australia and London for this movie. He achieved what he wanted!” Aditya is now working on projects for the betterment of the disabled. “Fathers need to be that push that kids need. I feel special to be Aditya’s father,” he adds.
Special in every way
An absolute challenge, but a gratifying experience, is how Goutham Bafna, father of Arihant, a child afflicted with multiple congenital defects, explains his fatherhood journey. “When we call our child special, we mean it literally. Children with disabilities may be disabled in some areas but they make that up with their deep sense of empathy and responsibility for their fellow beings,” he shares. “Father’s Day is a reward for having left no stones unturned to make my child blossom with all his special abilities.”