“Mom, can I go out and meet my friends?’’ asks Amrit, as she sits on her bed, combing her hair.
Her mother is in the kitchen preparing breakfast for her father, who drives an electric rickshaw. Hearing this, her father quickly comes up to her, helps her to her feet, and gives her a walker. “Stay close to the house,” her mother calls out, smiling. Her brothers are already out in the park playing cricket with their friends.
Amrit was born with a leg defect and could not move around till the age of five. When she grew a little older, she used her hands to move around on the ground. Life for Amrit was confined to her house or school, which she could not regularly attend because of her challenges.
However, becoming a sponsored child opened new avenues for Amrit after she was enrolled in the disability center run by World Vision India in her community. “Her father used to bring her to the disability center by carrying her on his back,” recalls Neelam, who used to work as a volunteer in the disability center.
Amrit could interact and play with other children navigating their difficulties at the center. She was also able to access physiotherapy sessions at the disability center. World Vision India facilitated these sessions in collaboration with Ashish Foundation, an NGO that works with children with disabilities. These sessions supplemented the treatment she was already taking from the government hospital. Amrit found that the therapy at the disability center strengthened her leg muscles and helped improve her mobility.
Through different activities, especially the Life School for Transformational Development programme organised by World Vision India, Amrit, and her friends at the center began to grow in confidence.
To help her move around independently, World Vision India, in collaboration with the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights, provided Amrit with a walker. This increased her self-assurance and gave her the push to walk on her own.
This small step is just the beginning for Amrit. Currently, she is in Std 6 and has to catch up on many missed classes. “We are doing everything we can to give her a good future,” says her father as he leaves for work.
When asked what she would like to be when she grows up, she pauses in contemplation. She then says with a smile, “I want to enjoy my childhood, interact with my friends and be able to do things on my own.”
As Amrit bids her mother goodbye to play with her friends, her mother feels proud to see her daughter taking one step at a time. She says, “We are grateful to World Vision India for providing us with support and opportunities for Amrit.”
With the right investment in disability centers, support and encouragement, and child sponsorship activities that build children’s foundations, World Vision India hopes to bring about a small yet significant change in the lives of children like Amrit.