Spirited & strong minded, Preetha Thonnakkal lives life to the fullest
Preetha Thonnakkal, a wheelchair user from Trivandrum, is truly an inspiration. She runs her own business from home in paper products, artificial flowers, ornaments and lotions.
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Preetha Thonnakkal, a wheelchair user from Trivandrum, follows this maxim. In spite of many obstacles in her path, Preetha lives life to the fullest and with independence.
This youngster has her hands full running a business in jewellery, artificial organdie flowers, cleaning lotions, dish washes, soap powders, paper pens and delicious pickles.
Like many youngsters, Preetha dreamed of travelling, meeting new people, and experiencing new things. A diagnosis of scoliosis in class nine changed that. She spent nearly a year in hospital and multiple surgeries and therapies later, she began to pick up the pieces of her life.
Initially, I used to feel disheartened about my fate. During those days, we did not have a phone or TV at home. So, my main source of entertainment was hearing the radio and reading books. Once I happened to come across a TV show where they were teaching how to make organdie flowers. I decided to give it a try and that is how I started making things on my own sitting at home. It gave me a new lease of life. Now I am independent and supporting my mother too. – Preetha Thonnakkal, Entrepreneur
Preetha remembers the days in hospital when she was unable to move without help. “I am glad I came out of all that. Life has changed a lot and I am trying to make the most of every second”, she says with a smile.
In April, Preetha was diagnosed with a heart condition “It happened on on the day I cast my vote in the Lok Sabha election. “After I realised that I had a heart problem, I did not want to waste any second being sad”, says Preetha. She recently started making videos on Tik-Tok and has a a wide fan following there. “These videos only last a few seconds and it is fun. Nobody judges you there. I only do things that I love doing. Also, I do not have any regrets in life, she adds.
Preetha wants to travel widely and wants to visit the Taj Mahal and other historical monuments in New Delhi. She also wants to travel outside India. “I have a bunch of great friends who lend me money when I need it. If I confine myself to the four walls of my home, I wouldn’t be able to experience the joys that the world has to offer,” she says.
Lack of accessibility is the biggest roadblock, something she hopes the government will look at. Jalaja, Preetha’s mother says that she wants her daughter to get nothing lesser than the best. “Sometimes I feel sad but I am also proud that she is doing so many things. Preetha does everything sitting on her bed. As a mother, I would do my best to help her”, says Jalaja.