Coimbatore, July 26:
|Thilkavathy writing her assignments|
|Thilakavathy at her home in Pull Kavundan Pudur|
|Thilakavathy cleaning vessels at her home|
Seventeen years ago, when Nanjan (46) from Pulla Kavundanpudur and his wife Sarojini (35) gave birth to their second child, a girl with partially formed limbs having no fingers in her hands or legs (a form of severe congenital abnormality due to consanguineous marriage), they even contemplated on putting the infant out of a lifetime of miserable existence.
Back then, the causal labourer who lives with wife and three children in a nondescript village twenty kilometers from here did not imagine his second daughter to become an achiever and a role model for others in their colony. But when the class ten results arrived this year, Thilakavathy who has no fingers and toes, passed out in flying colours scoring 340 out of 500 surprising everyone in the family and their neighbourhood.
“My wife and I are both are illiterate. So, we sent all our children to school including Thilakavathy when they turned five. Initially, the girl found it a little difficult but she learnt to deal with her deformity on her own and soon overcame it,” says Nanjan.
Today, Thilakavathy can do anything that other girls of her age do including writing down her class lessons, washing vessels to help her mother out and perform other domestic chores. “She goes to school in a government bus and has been on her own since she was a child,” says her mother Sarojini. “The only help she needs from me is to plait her hair.”
The young teenager is now pursuing her higher secondary course at the Government Girls Higher Secondary School at Muthivalayam near Thondamuthur in the Statistics stream. “I always wanted to be a computer engineer. But, I was advised against it as I do not have fingers. I want to go to college and get a good job when I grow up,” Thilakavathy told this newspaper.
The family is waiting for the girl to turn twenty to attach prosthetic limbs and make her fully functional. Thilakavathy, however, sees the brighter side of her condition. At least she never had to spend money on nail polish.