Time for gold from Olympics
“I went blank when the doctor told me that my eldest daughter cannot hear”, says Malti Devi. Her husband cursed their Fate.
This was when Lalita was 3 years old. Today, she is 20 and her mother can’t help smiling from ear to ear as she proudly announces to her neighbours “my daughter is going to foreign country in a plane to participate in sports”.
Yes, South Korea is where Lalita is headed to compete in Alpine Skiing in the World Winter Games 2013.
Lalita’s parents migrated to Delhi from Bihar – like many more in search of a better livelihood. But their hopes too crashed when they realized, the struggle was going to be worse than what they suffered back in their village. “I had fought my elders to come away, so I really could not go back”, recalls her father.He started doing various jobs and the family rented out a room in the Sanjay Colony slums. They decided to keep Lalita indoors once her fate was decided.
Neighbours sympathized, relatives called them back to the village but nothing more. One such neighbour came as a godsend and directed the family to the Deepalaya School in their neighbourhood – where they would definitely be helped.
Lalita’s mother recalls that meeting with Deepalaya teachers – “they heard me out understood my worries – I had two more daughters by then – and told me not to worry”.
The Deepalaya Special Educators assessed Lalita and then recommended speech therapy classes as well as regular age appropriate learnings. Wary of her security, her mother accompanied Lalita to the school, sat by watching the actions of the speech therapist and repeating the actions back home. Every right move her daughter made, “increased my confidence that she well do well in life”, recalls her mother.
Lalita progressed well at school and was mainstreamed into formal education from where she completed grade VIII. Deepalaya’s partnership with the Special Olympics Bharat, helped introduce sports to rehabilitate the children with Special Needs. It is this initiative that sees Lalita all set to board the flight to South Korea. Earlier in 2009, Reena and Brijesh represented the country at Games held in Idaho (USA) and came back with a Bronze and Silver Medal respectively. Focussed on her target and not concerned about the problems faced by the world Lalita lays her claim on the Gold.
Best of Luck Lalita. You make Deepalaya Proud.
Lalita leaves on 25th January and return on 6th February. She is one of the 66 members India contingent.