Friday, April 19, 2013

Mentally challenged girl gets a lifeline

Mentally challenged girl gets a lifeline

S. Ramesh

The district administration has provided the much-needed relief to a 14-year-old mentally challenged girl, and her mother who earlier was forced to seek euthanasia as she could not bear to see her daughter suffer.
Mathumitha, afflicted with cerebral palsy, has been admitted to the day care centre being run under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) project at Kollampalayam. Special teachers and physiotherapists at the centre will take care of the girl and provide therapy to her, besides helping her learn a few things in her own way.
“I am a happy mother now,” said the girl’s mother A. Jaya after attending the centre with her daughter on Monday.
A few weeks ago, Jaya shocked everyone at the District Collectorate by submitting a petition seeking euthanasia for her daughter. She stated in her petition that she had to make the tough decision as she was not able to see her daughter suffer any more.
The woman and her husband M. Alagirisamy, a carpenter, moved to Erode seven years ago and they made several unsuccessful attempts to admit their daughter to special schools and homes, as they could not meet the medical expenses of Mathumitha with their meagre income and the monthly assistance of Rs.1,000 for the differently-abled.
“Now my daughter won’t suffer a lot as there are a few people to help, treat and take care of her. I hope that she will feel happy when she hears the cheerful voices of the children in the school,” Ms. Jaya said.
She had decided to take her daughter for three to four days in a week to the school, where Mathumitha will be spending at least five to six hours a day.
“The officials also promised us to provide an allowance to meet our travel expenses,” she said.
SSA co-ordinator P. Premkumar said that the day care centre would provide all necessary assistance to Mathumitha. The SSA runs a total of 13 day care centres for the differently-abled persons, he added.

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