Manjit & Deepa believes in supporting daughter Poorvika Saawant in her empowering journey
When Manjit and Deepa had their first daughter Poorvika Saawant, they were excited. But when they realized that she had Down syndrome, the couple were shocked and devastated. It took them a while to accept Poorvika’s disability. But today, as a family, they have overcome all odds. All three of them are living life to the fullest. Manjit and Deepa believes in standing by their daughter and empowering her.
The journey of Manjit and his wife Deepa who has a daughter with Down syndrome is truly inspiring. The couple were initially devastated after knowing about their daughter’s diagnoses. Like most parents, it took them a few years to accept their daughter Poorvika Saawant and her disability. But once they did, life became an exciting roller-coaster ride to all three of them who are now living life to the fullest in Bengaluru. Read on to know more about their journey of love, understanding and above all, acceptance of their 14 year old daughter Poorvika’s disability.
Diagnoses of Down syndrome
Manjit remembers that doctors started noticing certain differences in the baby when Deepa was seven months pregnant. In spite of consulting over two doctors, no one discussed to the couple about what they could expect after birth of the baby. Doctors suggested different tests which Deepa underwent without fail.
We were scared. But we took a chance. When Poorvika was born, doctors realized that she had Down syndrome but did not tell us. It was after 15 days that the doctor spoke to me about this. I did not believe it initially. I never thought this could happen to us. In fact, I thought the doctor was speaking to someone else in the room. I even thought that he might be mistaken- Manjit, Poorvika’s father.
It took the couple over four years to accept Poorvika’s disability. But all throughout, the couple has showered their only daughter with love, care and support.
Journey to empowerment
In four to five years, Manjit and Deepa consulted many doctors for Poorvika. It was Dr Sridevi Hegde who first spoke to the couple about different therapies that can help to empower Poorvika. Manjit and Deepa used to travel long distances, from one part of the city to another on their bike along with Poorvika to give her the best therapies.
“Over time, we realized that we have to put in our best efforts to empower her. My wife was always positive about it. Her acceptance of Poorvika’s disability happened much before mine”, says Manjit.
In fact Manjit even quit his job to spend more time with his daughter. He shifted jobs and worked odd hours so that he could drop and pick Poorvika from school.
“All parents who have disabled children are concerned and worried about their future. What happens after we are gone? We can give them education and training in skills. But in spite of all that, their future must be made secure, especially financially. I tried my luck in various businesses and I failed. Currently, I’am working for events”, says Manjit.
Living life to the fullest
Poorvika is now studying at Sophia, a special school in Bengaluru. “We don’t want to force academics on her. We let her be and she does what her hearts tells her to”, says Manjit.
Poorvika loves music and dance. She is also undergoing formal training for painting. Poorvika was one amongst the participants for a fashion show held for disabled people by NGO Aasman Foundation. In the event that was held late February, Poorvika’s ramp walk received a lot of appreciation.
“Parents must spend more time with their disabled kids. They must understand that nothing will change, but keep working towards empowering your child. Every disabled child is different in their own ways”, says Deepa.
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