133rd recipient of help. A wheelchair.
Vikas Nirmal. (10)
Vikas has CP (cerebral palsy) and is unable to speak. Even his hands and legs refuse to obey the commands of his brains. Though they must be dying to be obedient beings so that their little Vikas can be free to speak, walk, run, dance, sing, like most of us.
Now that Vikas is growing, he is ten now, he is getting heavy to lift. His parents (Dhobi Shrawan Nirmal, the 123rd recipient of our assistance in the past, a livelihood bicycle) finds it hard to carry him to two hospitals, KEM at Parel, and one near Haji Ali, which he needs to visit twice a week for Vikas’s physiotherapy. Dhobi Shrawan says the improvement in Vikas is showing, thanks to the physiotherapy sessions, even though its very minor and very slow.
From next month Vikas will be going to a free school for specail children at Juhu. A kind lady, stranger, he happened to meet at KEM offered to get his child admitted. God Bless her.
While one child gets some quantity of assistance, his other child, his elder son who has passed 12th, cannot study any further, and has joined his father in his profession. Because Dhobi Shrawan cannot afford to send him for college education, so he has begun helping his family better their income. Twice a week, when Dhobi Shrawan needs to travel to these two hospitals with Vikas, it is his elder son who takes the reins of their family profession in his young literate hands.
Dhobi Shrawan was seeking government assistance in procuring a wheelchair to carry Vikas to hospital, and for other social visits. However, after running around for over three months he felt defeated by the paper-work-obstacles in the path to the coveted wheelchair. We decided we must reach out to little Vikas.
Here is the link to the donation of bicycle we had made to Vikas’s father, Dhobi Nirmal. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10153148567528213&set=oa.357090647765413&type=3&theater
At that time itself, April 2015, Dhobi Shrawan had told me about this special child of his and their need for a wheelchair. I had promised myself that soon we will help him. I completely forgot. So what reminded me of the promise I had made myself?
A donor friend, G, who I shall not name, messaged me a week ago. This is how our conversation went:
Hi Rakesh Just wanted to check on cycle donation
Rakesh Anand Bakshi
Can we please do one more donation on 11 th of Aug or some nearby date?
Sure. Is it someone’s birthday?, like it was sometime last year when you made your first donation of a bicycle through Bicycle Angels.
but not birthday. it’s my elder son’s anniversary
The same boy on whose bday you donated a bike last year?
Ah! its been a year already! how time flies man.
my god time really flies. it feels like yesterday; however, what do u really mean by ‘anniversary’? cus last year you had mentioned it was his birthday, I recollect now, when you donated a bike for his bday
He left us and has gone to God bit early
(It took me a while to recover from what G had said. I gathered myself.)
oh i did not realize that last year. that he was no more with us.
What happened, if I may ask? he was less than ten years young i recollect.
Nothing really. he was eating and the food got stuck in his breathing system, somehow, and it was not able to come out in time.
I went silent for a while. Unknown to G, I cried then.
Because last year when we donated a bike on his son’s birthday, I was fascinated by the cuteness and glowing face of his son. he had sent me his photograph to post when i had asked him to send me a family photo to post, of our donors, like I do.
This conversation with G, made me keen to help a child this time, because it was a child’s birth anniversary on which his parents were reaching out to someone somewhere in this world.
I though the recipient of his kindness should be a child, if possible, but if I come across an elder who needs help we will help the elder. No choosing and discrimination in charity.
Its such a beautiful coincidence, that had G’s son been with us today he would probably have been the same age as Vikas Nirmal, the CP child to whom we happened to donate this wheelchair. Vikas’s father did not have a photo of him on a wheelchair, and I never insist on one, so he sent me a photo he had taken of Vikas in a photo studio, and that’s the one I have posted here.
Thank you dear G, and your wife, and to Gajra and Sailesh Kottary, for donating this wheelchair to little Vikas. Dhobi Shrwan contributed partially towards this purchase.
Thank you to Ankita and Himanshu for the discount on our wheelchair purchase.