Sunita: “It always seems impossible until it is done”
Sunita, a brilliant 10-year-old girl from Bihar India, was always keen to study. Her father says even before she could speak, Sunita was always interested in books and papers, and anything that had words on it. “She would point and want to know what was written.”
Sadly, Sunita’s family was very poor. When Sunita was only 3 years old, they migrated from Bihar to Delhi in search of work. Sunita’s father struggled a lot to find a job. Many days, he would just work for food to feed his family. It was during this time that Sunita contracted polio. By the time they were able to afford enough money to see a doctor, it was too late. Both of Sunita’s legs were paralyzed as a result of the disease.
However, Sunita was a determined child. She never confined herself to her room, hiding from the public eye. Instead, she tried her best to keep up with the other kids in her area. She was able to crawl very fast and had amazing upper body strength. She would sit with the older children while they did their homework and glean knowledge from them.
When it was her turn to enroll in school, her parents thought it was a hopeless cause. How would she get back and forth? How could she carry her books? But Sunita didn’t give up. She asked several neighbors to help carry her back and forth to school every day, and a few gladly accepted. Sunita was not always the brightest one in class, but she was always the hardest working. She constantly asked questions and paid deep attention to her teachers. She loved going to school. She loved her friends & teachers. And she dreamed of becoming a teacher one day herself.
However, as Sunita got older, it became more and more difficult for her friends to carry her to school. With no way of getting there, Sunita slowly stopped attending her classes.
This led her into a great sadness and she began to wonder what the purpose of her life was. She thought that she would be better off dead. Her parents worried about her future. Their fear was that their daughter would never be able to survive in this world, being that India is not disabled-friendly. “No one would marry her. She cannot even go to school to get educated, so she would never be able to get a job to support herself. She would be vulnerable to abuse and misuse. Her fate was sealed.” Her father said he cried many tears for his daughter, and pleaded with God to help her succeed in life somehow.
When One Life to Love began our education program, the teachers immediately gave us Sunita’s name and address. They pleaded with us to help her come back to school because they knew what a devastating condition she was in. We visited Sunita and her family at their small shanty home where they offered us Chai and rusk. We sat on the cool cement floor and talked about Sunita’s future.
As Sunita’s father shared their struggles, we knew that we could help if even in a small way. A few days later, we were able to provide Sunita with a wheel chair, and informed that we would be paying all of her school fees and providing all her educational needs. Words cannot describe the smile, not only on Sunita’s face, but her father’s as well.
Today, Sunita is attending school regularly with the help of her best friend, Radhika, who voluntarily pushes her back and forth every day. Sunita’s teachers say, “Sunita is succeeding in her studies. She quickly caught up on whatever she missed; we were all astonished. We know this girl will go far in life because of her determination and hard work.”
Thank you, for helping Sunita get back to school where she is blossoming!