#BeingMom - From anxiety to empowerment, the journey of Latha Venkatesan
May 18, 2019
In our month-long campaign #BeingMom, we present the story of Latha Venkatesan, a mother from Chennai and co-founder of Tarang, a vocational training centre for young adults. Latha is also a member of Special Child Assistance Network (SCAN), a parent based support group.
When Latha Venkatesan’s daughter was diagnosed with Rett syndrome with autism, it came as a bolt from the blue. She had never heard of this disorder which is a very rare genetic one affecting physical and mental growth and communication skills.
It was hard for me to believe this, and my I initially thought the diagnosis was wrong. I ran pillar to post to prove it was a wrong diagnosis, but sadly it was true, and grappled with the typical questions of 'Why me?', grievances, etc. Time taught me to accept her with all her disability. That's how my journey as a special mother started.
All of this was 27 years ago when it was difficult to find the resources to cope with this diagnosis. So, Latha decided to gather any information she could about her child’s medical condition and educate herself. She did an advanced course in autism spectrum disorder to better understand her daughter’s condition and state of mind. That was key to finding life less challenging.
She says the journey has taughther to accept life as it comes, and look at the positive side of everything. "It has taught me to live a selfless life. By catering to her needs, I have ended up helping other similar special needs kids. My daughter feels comfortable and safe in my presence which improves her self-esteem and confidence.”
Latha decided to start a vocational centre, Tarang where children with disabilities and disorders learn vocational skills. A self-help group, Tarang has changed many lives and helped youth gain financial independence.
Mallika Swaminathan is among the few who has watched her transform. "Latha is a very down to earth person, who can easily connect with people. Her meticulous planning, hard work, dedication and understanding is her USP. Tarang was the outcome of that. Hard work, dedication and enthusiasm is seen in each and every member of the team and she is an inspiration".
For parents grappling to cope with their children's disabilities, Latha's advice is simple. "Accept life as it comes. No one can understand, help or teach our kids better than us. Give them unconditional love and provide them a safe and confident platform which is the foremost duty of any special platform".
Priya Sasimurli's daughter Saranya is a part of Tarang.
"Tarang has made many children economically independent. Many a time, it’s not possible to even identify that the products made by the team are by special adults. Latha ensures that every trainee has his/her share in every order they work for. This obviously boosts their self-confidence".
A journey that began with confusion and anxiety has today transformed into one that is empowering many other families.
OTHER STORIES IN THE #BEING MOM SERIES:
Watch in Sign Language
Read more on Newz Hook
- Get-hooked May 21, 2019 'We have only one life, so live it to the fullest' - My Take by Krishnakumar PS
- Accessibility May 23, 2019 Curated tours, sign language interpreters planned in Kerala as part of Barrier Free Tourism project
- Headlines May 20, 2019 Delhi Police reacts to Kejriwal’s comment on security
- Headlines May 20, 2019 Mamata's nephew sends defamation notice to PM
- Headlines May 17, 2019 Sadhvi Pragya apologizes for Godse comments
- Get-hooked May 18, 2019 #BeingMom - Behind swimming champ Ankita Anvikar's success story is mom Anjali
- Get-hooked May 18, 2019 Parenting Corner - Feeling Guilty
- Technology May 23, 2019 #TechThursdays - Augmenta11y, an app developed by students, helps children with dyslexia read better
- Accessibility May 21, 2019 Check out these accessible holiday destinations in India
- Headlines May 21, 2019 Athlete Dutee Chand faces family expulsion for saying she is gay
Want to feature your inspiring story or share an event with the disabled community? Write to:
Newz Hook - Accessible News