An interview with Manju Gupta, from India

My 23 yo son Danish has Nystagmus,
mother Manju Gupta tells his story.

Who are you and from where are you?
I am Manju Gupta from India, and my son Danish, who is 23 yo is Disabled.

Manju Gupta and her Disabled son Danish

What you do in life?
I am a teacher and I try to help children with a Disability.
In 1995, my husband died in a car accident, my son was at that time 2 years old.

How is life in India, for children with a Disability?
The Disabled children are called bad names as bechaara, what means disabled. Many people laugh with the disabled children. I want to work more with children with a disability, only here in India, this all has become commercial. A business type.
People who are running the institutes are getting a lot of money and facilities from sponsors also changing fees from those children in the name of charity.

son Danish

What happens over there when parents have a child with a Disability?
The most donít want their child. Only 20 % of those parents who get a child with a disability love their children. The ones who donít want their child used to leave them in special schools where they can spend a good time with the same kind of children of different categories.
Those children learn to sing and dance, but no education; Everyone says those retarded children canít study, but I believe they can.

No, retardation, Ö means mentally some milestones delayed.

Manju Gupta and her Disabled son Danish

Mother Manju Gupta tells her sonís story:
Danish is my 23 yrs old son. He is differently abled by birth. He is in joubert syndromes with grey matter disease of brain. His eye balls revolve al the time because he has Nystagmus in both of his eyes. Nystagmus is a type of blindness. Sometimes he can't even see surroundings. Right side of body slightly curved so having a little bit problem while walking sometimes.
Sometimes he is aggressive by the behavior and attitude of people near by when they start questioning unnecessary about him. People and society didn't adopt him yet . He is just a poor guy for society who is disabled.
He was 1 year old when his father died in a car accident. My in-laws throw us out of their house without giving us anything. I was totally helpless that time. It was very difficult and a crucial period to survive with a disabled child who was unable to walk and watch. He was blind at that time.

Manju Gupta and her Disabled son Danish

I started living with my parents. They always supported me in my bad times till now. After 2 years of my husband's death. I got my government job. Again I came to that city for my career and service from where once I was thrown out.
Now the main problem was the study of Danish. Well reputed schools refused to give admission. In their views the strength of their school will effect due to a mentally retarded child. I forgot to mention that some of his milestones are delayed so he is mentally retarded too. Although he is intelligent yet retardation is here.
So the question was his study. For a few months he went to army special school pathankot. Den admitted in normal nursery school. He was very sharp by brain. I started his schooling from a very small school. It was a milestone in my life. The principal and teachers supported a lot to build his base. He completed his 3rd standard there and then I shifted him in a new school which was again not well reputed. But thatís school also. supported us a lot. He was intelligent and mannerfully child there. His behavior was overall good. He completed his 10th standard there.

son Danish

After that he did 12th standard in vocational computer science. Then 1 year diploma of computer operator and then elementary teachers training of two years
Nowadays doing diploma in music. Goes to primary school daily to educate the children free. A very good counselor of disabled children. Goes to blind school to motivate them, check their accounts and does their daily need works such as buying grocery and eatables....and helps the blind in their tasks.
My son, who has multiple disabilities and here in India, people hate these types of children. My son donít have a single friend, even not to talk with.

We have suffered a lot due 2 bad behavior of people. Parents never allowed their children to play with my baby. He feels isolated still. Only I am his mother father relatives and friends...I m an entire part of al his activities. My son always used to says one thing... 'People called me disable actually I m not disabled'.
These narrow minded people has made us disabled.

A movie from Danish: