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Apeksha Bagchi

IWB Blogger

Born With A Rare Disability, Nipun Malhotra Is Now An Inspiration To Others Thanks To His Mother’s Faith In Life

  • IWB Post
  •  May 11, 2019

 

When Nipun Malhotra was born in 1987, both his arms and legs were fractured and his entire body was blue.  He was born Arthrogryposis, a rare congenital joint contracture, which meant that the muscles in his limbs had not developed fully. His parents were told that he would be living the rest of his life like a wooden doll bound to his wheelchair. But today Nipun is a disability activist and running an organisation called Nipman Foundation with his mother to help people with disabilities.  

“At that time, there was not much awareness. I had to research available literature on his problem which compared it to a ‘wooden doll’. But I was sure that if the ‘wooden doll’ can smile, why can’t he do other things? There was one doctor who told me, ‘He will never deprive you of the pleasures of motherhood.’ That put me on track. And as I kept progressing, my son kept responding. At that time, I did not even know I would get results. I was just doing it for my child and he has given me much more in the process,” shared Priyanka.

With the aim to give her son a normal life, Priyanka enrolled him in a regular school. “There were people who said I should be sent to a special school. Luckily for me, my mother wanted to give me a completely normal life and I feel that it’s because of the decision she made that I am what I am today. There were 15-20 schools that rejected me before there was one school, St Mary’s in Mumbai, that judged me for what I could do and not what I could not do,” said Nipun.

Initially, Priyanka kept “hoping for miracles” and even got a contraption made for him where he could stand. But she soon realized the pain she was putting him through. “Then, I let him just be the way he was, stopped all therapies and began working on his mind. I would take him out, show him things and teach him about them, let him touch and feel textures. It was a lot of effort and people thought I was being stupid but it paid off,” she said.

Motivated by his mother’s dedication, Nipun was also motivated to not merely survive but live his life. “I realised you really have to make most of any given opportunity. For instance, it was Sports Day in school and I insisted on becoming the master of ceremonies. It was about maximising opportunities at that stage,” he remembered. “The beauty of my mother was that even if she was facing challenges, I never really got to know of it. She has always been strong in front of me.”

“I am a very positive person. I used to get very teary when I would talk about him in the beginning, but my dean in college, where I was pursuing counselling psychology, told me, ‘Be soft inside and hard on the surface.’ And that was the best advice. I have always made an effort to look ‘smart’, because then the world takes you more seriously. I always wanted to be strong and confident enough to look after him. I realised I have to be fine,” said Priyanka.

Calling his mother the perfect guardian, Nipun shared that she had been his best friend in school and now is the perfect person to work with. “I have been very lucky to have her,” he said. “Judge people for what they can do. Concentrate on your child’s strength, whether it is academics, music or writing. Do not burden them with undue expectations about what you think they should do. Just give the child some space and courage.”

H/T: The Indian Express 

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