Aakash’s story

Aakash is 8 years old and is a sweet, intelligent boy with an adorable smile. When Aakash’s mother was pregnant with him, she was unwell, but couldn’t afford to go to the doctor. Aakash was born with cerebral palsy, and was never able to walk. Nor did he ever go to school – in spite of his intellectual ability – and spent most of his time inside his house, a one room hut in a village outside Varanasi. When we first met Aakash, we gave him a wheelchair and enrolled him at our centre, ensuring that he received regular therapy and education. We also sent our community outreach team to travel to his house and modify it by adding a ramp, railing and concrete throughout. These changes made a huge difference to Aakash’s life. Now that his house no longer has steps or an uneven, muddy floor, he can move around it in his wheelchair, and will no longer have to sit in the mud during monsoon season. What’s more, thanks to the physiotherapy he receives at the centre daily, he is learning to walk, and the therapists at the centre are confident that he will soon be able to do so independently. He practices his walking outside his house holding on to the newly installed railing – with a look of much concentration and a big smile on his face! Perhaps most exciting of all is that, after years of being unable to go to school, Aakash is now able to get an education. He has learned to read and write (both in Hindi and English), knows his times tables, and loves to paint. He is incredibly studious and determined, and enjoys helping other students with their work. Now that he’s been able to catch up on all the years that he’s missed, he is attending a mainstream school every day – and receiving the education that he, and every other child, no matter their circumstances, deserves.