Get-hooked August 27, 2020
Staying together as a family did wonders to Kochi-based Angel Celine with Down syndrome!
Angel Celine, 21 years old, is a Kochi-based dancer, actor and beauty pageant winner diagnosed with Down syndrome. Angel’s pillars of strengths are her parents and a younger sister. The family proves how staying together can help support youngsters with disabilities.
‘The family is one of nature’s masterpieces’, said George Santayana. It is the love and care that you receive from the family that makes one complete. In the case of Kochi-based youngster Angel Celine, the support of her family is what made her an independent and young woman today. 21-year-old Angel, who was diagnosed with Down syndrome, is a dancer, actor and beauty pageant winner too. Truly unstoppable, Angel is aiming for nothing lesser than the stars, thanks to her supportive family for that.
A Down syndrome diagnosis and life thereafter
Angel’s father Varghese and mother Rani were excited to welcome their first daughter. But a couple of days after Angel’s birth, doctors called up Varghese to talk to him about their daughter’s condition. Varghese, an ardent believer of God, was shocked when the diagnosis came. But he put his trust in the allmighty and decided to empower his daughter with the help of his wife.
Doctors told me that Angel had an extra chromosome 21. Being an active social worker who has worked with some disabled groups too, I knew what was coming our way. I was shocked and shattered. But I knew one thing, that no matter what, I would support Angel- Varghese, Angel’s father.
With the birth of their younger daughter, the family became bigger, better and stronger. Rani made sure that Angel attended physiotherapy sessions without fail. She started talking by the age of four though she stil has speech issues.
They also had supportive doctors who guided them through the right path. Even now, Varghese and Rani believes that early intervention and timely guidance is what helped Angel become successful in life.
Angel started showing love towards dance and music from a very young age. She used to sway to dance moves on television and radio. The family admitted her to nearby Raksha Special School where she has been spending time even now. Angel completed her class 10 there and the staffs are teaching her vocational training and computers.
“I remember when she used to cry, I played songs to her and she immediately stopped crying”, remembers Rani. Angel also participated in the Miss Kerala Special 2019 which was for youngsters with disabilities. She won titles at the event. Angel’s tryst with cinema was through the Malayalam movie ‘Compartment’ in which she was casted by none other than Malayalam actor and national award winner Salim Kumar. Angel, who hopes to build a career in dance and cinema, wants the industry to be more inclusive so that talents like her can come up and flourish.
Angel is also attending dance classes too. “Suresh Gopi is my favorite actor. I love the way he is on-screen”, smiles Angel who has also performed in TV shows like ‘Comedy Utsavam’ in Flowers Channel.
Ask her what she aspires to become and the answer comes, “I want to become a church pastor”.
“I never isolated my daughter due to her disability and have always treated her as equal. She is now a very social person who can interact with anyone”, says Varghese.
As the family poses together for a photo, Angel takes control of the frame and tells them where they all need to sit. She then tells a ‘cheese’ as her pretty smile adorns the photo!