Ainson Antony, who has Down syndrome, finds his life's purpose in automobiles
In our series on Down syndrome, we bring you the story of Ainson Anthony from Kerala.
34-year-old Ainson Anthony runs a service center for bikes in Kochi. He is in charge of washing all the bikes that come to the center.
Ainson was the first child to his parents. He was not diagnosed at birth. His mother, Mary, wondered why her son was different from other kids, and was a little worried.
Rejected by mainstream schools
She was faced with the reality when Ainson joined school.
We put him in a regular school. He was in class 2, when his teachers said that he could not sit with the other kids. They said we needed to find a special school for him - Mary Antony, Ainson's mother
The teachers' words broke Mary's heart, but not her spirits. She decided to enroll him at a school called Raksha Society. This is a school for children with learning disabilities, among the first few schools for children with special needs in Kerala.
Ainson joined Raksha Society when he was in class 2, and was soon counted among its most sincere students.
The teachers at Raksha Society were very supportive and they said he learns things fast. That made me so happy and proud - Mary Antony, Ainson's mother
Mary says her life took a significant turn, thanks to Ainson. After watching how her son transformed at Raksha Society, she was inspired. She decided to do her bit for kids with Down syndrome by volunteering at Raksha Society. Today she teaches there.
Man of many interests
Today Ainson, with the help of father Antony, successfully runs the bike service center. There is a regular flow of customers, and Ainson is a busy man. It took some small setbacks before he figured out what he wanted to do.
Initially, we started a grocery shop. But people started cheating him of money. He was not enjoying the job either. Then we set up a small hotel, but that did not interest him. That was when we realized his love for automobiles. We decided to start a center and he is happy and doing well - Mary Antony, Ainson's mother
When he is finished with his busy day at the bike center, Ainson has many other interests. He is an altar boy, dancer, singer, and social worker. Clearly, Ainson dons many hats!
Ainson has won many prizes in dancing and singing competitions as well. Thanks to his determination and the support of a lovely family and friends, Ainson is reaching for the stars.