Thursday, January 23, 2014

Evolution from 'Why Me?' to 'Why Not Me?'- A Touching Life of Preethi Srinivasan..A Saga in search of Soul Free

Today we had the Inner Wheel -District 323 -District Conference and something made me not to miss it in the last minute.  I was determined that I will plan to attend and I went with only expectation to catch up with my Inner Wheel friends and also from other clubs in the District.  I have not realized that I would come across another Positive Siddharth...this time a beautiful woman called Preethi.

Preethi's parents have been her biggest support
As she was wheeled into the Conference hall, her care giver and mother sat next to her silently.  We did not give much attention to her,  until she was called on to the stage and she was wheeled on to the dais and got a mic fixed to her dress to start to speak.   
Amidst the business as usual session,  her speech came as a wind of warmth, making our eyes misty, and thoughts stopped for a second. Eyes glued on her and ears wanted to hear her more.  Couple of times, many of us stood in to give our standing ovation to the woman who was in front of us.  She is one and only Preeti Srinivasan from Tiruvannamalai.

Her life goes on in her beautiful words...she was the only daughter adored and carefully brought up by her doting parents.  She had a wonderful childhood, jumping into the swimming pool at the age of 3 and running towards sports ambitions from the age of 4.  She was a swimmer, a cricketer and above all a very bubbly loving child of her parents and her life was in the path that is right as per the yardsticks of the society that we live in.  Her dreams of studying in United States, wanting to make it big in sports and make her parents proud was all part of her life until a freaky accident that tore her life into pieces in a split second.  
The tone of her voice did not shiver when she spoke about the trauma and troubles that came behind her in life after that one unfortunate moment.   Everything came to stand still.  She had a life damaging spinal cord injury that made her life upside down. Without any medical insurance for spinal cord injury, no rehabilitation center for entire breadth of this large Nation, with no civic responsibility caring for accessing positively abled people to commute, access required areas like post offices, banks and book stalls, living in India with such challenge became painful.   Thankfully her parents stood by her.  She was worried when she mentioned that not many in our country are fortunate enough to even afford a wheel chair and are let to die and are encouraged to commit suicide for they are burden to themselves, their families, on finances and to this society. 

Instead of making life easy for people like Preethi, our country still remains insensitive to the basic needs of physically challenged brethren.   Imagine for a day when you cannot move on your own, imagine a day where you cannot use your hands fully, imagine a day when the very air your breathe is making you battle for life....that imagination itself is a nightmare to all of us. 

Run for Inclusion, Inclusion Summit and many more such messages don't reach out governments to make effective transformation in our society.  We don't care or bother unless, something similar hits us.  With the stress filled world., life is just full of uncertainties and we don't get sensitive unless it hurts us personally.  Till such time, it is some one's sad story to hear,  mostly even not listen attentively, and ignore and forget the next day and move on with our lives regular chores.    People like Preethi are left to fight their own battles.  Until they fight, they yell and they become crusaders, the so called normal beings don't even acknowledge the existence of such trauma and people who are craving for life amidst lesser blessings.  

For them getting the basic education is a challenge because our distance education universities don't have ramps to the class rooms.  Employment is a distant dream for not many employers believe that they can be productive, equally determined and capable.  Family and Children is almost ruled out in many lives, for every normal being wants a perfect person as life partner.  The only solace is when they find life partners with some form of similar challenge.  Health care is a very costly affair.  We don't have communities coming forward to help the needy in our next door.   Governments do not care about this minority section, who may never be able to walk to the election booths and cast their votes, so they are negligible to the democratic leaders.   How else can we make them live?

Let alone the bigger dreams that people like Preethi had in life, the very existence in day to day affairs is tough.  They are mostly forced to hide and let to die unless they have some constant support to move on with life and look beyond physical possibilities.   This happens multifold in our rural areas.  When urban world itself is insensitive, illiterate and farming based villages, with no health care facilities and hospitals to reach on time is further more at sad state of affairs.

After the session, me and my friend made it a point to go and give her a big bear hug.  Telling her loud that we loved her..we admired her courage, we thanked her mother and prayed for her long life with health and energy to take care of Preethi.  She will not leave our  memory and her requests for help didn't go in vain.   Funds from Inner Wheel Clubs poured in , which she promised to transform as wheel chairs for friends in rural areas who will be empowered to at least make a move, within their own homes first. 

What she needs more than funds, is to spread her message, make people understand the difficulties and help when you find some one around, run to help and react to accidents on time.  To me ALERT and its golden hour work sounded like god sent.  How many people were rushed to hospitals before they became totally disabled.  Preethi mentioned that there are many people who suffered spinal cord injury not during the accidents but after and it was shocking to hear, for the delay in medical help during accidents make things worse and fatal. 

With my life's own battles, I stopped saying that I am busy, sick or not available to any one and stopped fighting for little things in life, stopped cribbing for failures and started to raise every time I fell.   I learnt to get up and run again in life.  Now I wish I can do something really to the cause for which Siddharth and now Preethi and many others are fighting for.  Unless we fight, we will not get things changed in our system.  For that the basic step is awareness.  Creating sensitivity in our society and people to react, proactively act to support and not just be mere spectators.  Only then dreams of Preethi and Siddharth will come true

To know more about Preethi, please visit her website : http://www.soulfree.org/

I will soon post the picture I have taken with her today, till then, please see the one from Internet.

For more about her

http://www.thebetterindia.com/8961/captain-19-womens-cricket-team-woman-now-deals-disability-inspires-others/





1 comment:

kulls said...

A very well written blog madam. No words to express more.