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Nadia Cerebral Palsy Child Fights Peril For Survival

2016-08-26 16:09

Swastika at home NfN Picture


Chakdaha, Aug. 26: 11 year old Swastika of Chakdaha Rabindranagar can hardly realize the loss she has suffered. She would probably never realize it at all. The bubbly girl, who has been suffering from cerebral palsy, has turned “orphan” in last week. She lost her biological mother when she was just four as her father divorced her over a conjugal rift. On August 18, Swastika’s lost her father too. Swastika’s father Sajal Roy, a garment trader, who married again in last year, had committed suicide being unable to bear the depression owing to a conjugal rift with his new wife.

The suicide has shattered the future of this special child as her ongoing education and medical treatment has suddenly took a halt as there is no one to bear the financial and physical burden to take her to school - Kalyani Life Institute for the purpose.

KLI, is a parents forum cum school for special children is affiliated by the National Trust for the welfare of autism, cerebral palsy, mental retardation and other disabilities, a body under Ministry of social justice and empowerment.

Swastika’s grandparents – Haridas Roy (72), a retired assistant sub inspector of police and his wife Pushpa (65), who are now her legal guardian, are too ill to take care - physically and financially.

Haridas, who cannot walk properly due to a broken hip joint said: “I am solely dependent on pension by which it is not possible for me to bear the expenses her studies and treatment. I and my wife are also quite ill and cannot walk well. It is quite difficult for us to take up any laborious job as well”

Siddhartha Mukherjee, secretary of Kalyani Life Institute said: “Discontinuation of Swastika’s special schooling as well as medical and therapeutic treatment could turn fatal for Swastika. During the last three years her condition remarkably improved. This needed to be sustained to save her life”.

The KLI authorities, feel that Swastika needs financial and physical support so that she could continue her study and treatment in Kalyani.

“Swastika needs at least Rupees 5000 per month to continue her schooling. We have offered her an exemption of the monthly fee of Rupees 800. But, her family needed to afford someone or a vehicle on share which could take to school in Kalyani from Chakdaha (22km) regularly four days a week. We hope that any individual or organization would come up with help to save her life”, said Siddhartha Mukherjee, a WBCS (Executive) officer and father of a autistic daughter.

Swastika was born to Sajal and Mohua Roy June 28, 2005. But, the two got separated through a mutual divorce during October 2009, when Swastika developed the initial symptoms of cerebral palsy. The court had given custody of Swastika to her father Sajal after her mother made no claim for her. After that Sajal started medical treatment for Swastika. In November last year he again got married to a woman from Jalpaiguri (Babli Chakraborty) but a conjugal difference developed between the two over the child.

Sajal’s father Haripada Das said: “Sajal got depressed ever since he realized that his newly married wife Babli does not love Swastika and also not take her care. His business was also going through turbulence. Unable to bear the pressure at both end, he ended life jumping before Hazarduari Express train on June 18 morning”.

“After his death, Babli returned to his paternal home in Jalpaiguri leaving Swastika and never inquired about her. Death of my son is big blow to Swastika’s future as he was the only person who understood her well and took daily care”, added Das.

The could not trace out her biological mother Mohua Roy in Jagulia.

On the other hand Swastika’s step mother Babli could not be contacted too as her father Rabindra Nath Chakraborty said over phone from Jalpaiguri: “My daughter is ill and admitted to hospital. We are not interested to talk on the matter”.

Swastika was initially treated at the Institute of Psychiatry in Calcutta, where her problem was attributed to “birth asphyxia”, a neo natal condition that occurs due to sudden suspension in supply of oxygen during birth.

Doctor Arun Kumar Prasad, who has been treating Swastika at present said: “The birth asphyxia caused abnormal brain function like drooling, poor attention, violent behavior, restlessness, restrictive and repetitive behavior. All these symptoms were present in Swastika. These problems grossly led to cerebral palsy. However, during the past three years her condition has improved largely through medication as well as through sensory therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, activities and behavioral management. Swastika should continue this otherwise her condition would turn fatal”.

Special educator Joydev Maity, who imparts training to children with autism and cerebral palsy said: “If the schooling and medication stopped, her condition would regress fatally which would include increase in restlessness, drooling, hyperactivity and other behavioral problem”.

KLI secretary Siddhartha Mukherjee said: “We will try to ensure by law that Swastika is not deprived of her natural rights on the properties of her father, but she needed support from family. We have found sheer reluctance in her grandparents to continue her schooling and medication, for which I am afraid that she could even be abandoned”.

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