Wheelchair user Aruna has not let the world or disability stop her from chasing dreams
Aruna, a wheelchair user from Palakkad in Kerala is an aspiring singer. Her journey towards completing her education and chasing her dreams is an ideal example of how to never back down in life. Aruna talks to Newz Hook about the many struggles she has undergone as a disabled person to pursue studies.
Aruna, a 30-year-old from Palakkad in Kerala, was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy at the age of seven. In spite of the many obstacles on her way, Aruna was determined to complete studies to secure a job and become independent. Her life journey is a sheer example of determination and courage. Aruna shows how to never back down, especially when society tries to pull you back owing to a disability. Her new found love is music, something that she started exploring since the lockdown began. Aruna talks to Newz Hook.
An epitome of courage and determination
Until age of seven, Aruna lived a life just like any other kid of her age. But after that, she started having difficulties to walk and used to fall quite often. Being the only daughter, her worried parents, in spite of financial constraints, introduced her to different types of treatments. But nothing worked as her condition remained the same.
Aruna, who was home-schooled till class 4 was adamant on attending school. According to her, sitting inside a classroom with other students was a dream. “The school that I attended was cooperative, so were the students and teachers. But in younger classes, many of them used to mock me and make fun of my disability because kids do not have any awareness about disabilities. It changed when I reached higher class”, remembers Aruna.
“Unlike other kids, I couldn’t participate in any sports or arts events. I was always sitting alone in class when others went for events. All that used to break my heart”, she adds.
Aruna brimmed with excitement when she reached class 10 as she was completing an important phase of her educational life. But fate had other plans for her. She was infected by pneumonia and couldn’t attend two exams. The university refused to promote her and hence she couldn’t complete class 10 along with her friends. Since Aruna did not have a wheelchair and most schools were inaccessible, she had to discontinue studies.
Never ready to back down
Aruna’s parents and close relatives did not find the need for her to study. According to them, she was disabled and had to stay indoors. But completing her studies always remained an unfulfilled dream to her. So after eight years, when she got her own wheelchair, Aruna decided to give her class 10 exams again. She passed with flying colors and completed class 12 too. Currently, she is pursuing her second year under-graduation in History, a subject that she loves.
“I started seeing the world through my books, teachers and friends. I came to know about a lot of things. I loved going to school too because I did not want to spend my days inside the four walls of my house”, she says.
Aruna is aiming to write the IAS exams after she completes her degree course. “I love teaching, so someday I might end up being a teacher”, she says with a smile.
Since last May, she started learning music. She was part of NGO MIND’s ‘Spinal Muscular Atrophy’ campaign too. “There are people with bigger problems and limitations than you. So look at the brighter side of life. This is what I believe in”, says Aruna whose dream is to sing along with renowned playback singer KS Chithra in the near future.
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