Tuesday, August 8, 2017

(૭૧)..'I want to live with my head held high'

૦૮/૦૮/૨૦૧૭..(૭૧)..'I want to live with my head held high'
Bangalore Mirror Bureau | Nov 21, 2014, 


By: Durgesh Kumar Y

An orphaned Sujatha was brought up by her brother. Now chips in for his education

If you ever drive into the Shell petrol station on Sankey Road in Sadashivnagar, chances are you will be greeted with folded hands by a young woman flashing a confident smile while she refills the tank. But Sujatha K, 26, is no ordinary woman.

The BA degree-holder from Sagar in Shimoga district has overcome some daunting hurdles to reach this destination. Long before the country could flaunt a polio-free tag, the disease had left her crippled. The blow was too much to bear for the 10-year-old who had lost her parents when she was a child. There was only her 1 2 y e a r o l d b r o t h e r, Suresh, to turn to. The relative, who was entrusted with their care, could barely manage to feed them.

With great difficulty, Suresh completed his schooling and immediately took up a job. His single minded goal was providing an education for his sister."Suresh was everything to me. He nurtured me like my mother would have done and filled the void of a father by earning for our livelihood," says Sujatha, pausing to refill a car.

After she completed her schooling and PUC at Sagar, her brother insisted she get a degree. Sujatha did her BA and moved to Bengaluru in search of a job. "My paternal uncle in Sunkada Katte was kind enough to offer me shelter.He took me to Mobility India where I was offered a chance to do a workshop and the possibility of a placement in a petrol station."

After completing her training there, she was immediately placed at the petrol station, where she has completed four years.She commutes by bus and continues to stay at her uncle's place. Her employers are happy with her work and even gave her a cash reward of Rs 25,000."My only goal now is to see my brother, who is in his final year, complete his BE (Mechanical) in Sagar. He had given up all his ambitions to see me become independent. The least I can do is chip in with some financial assistance," says Sujatha, overcome by emotion.

She says sometimes customers try to do their bit by offering help, like replacing her damaged crutches etc. "I cannot reject these because they do it with love. But sympathy is the last thing I am looking for. My handicap should not be seen as my weakness. I want to live life with my head held high," she says.


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