"Drops of water"
Rishika is a constant lover of music, an avid listener, singer and a passionate music tutor. She lives at Peringottukara, Thrissur with her father, mother brother and his wife. She couldn't complete the higher secondary studies due to her health issues. However, she has reappeared for Plus One grade again and is pursuing her course. She has been conducting tutions at home. The head teacher of GHSS Peringottukara received significant recommendations about Rishika from the children and thus she began her full time teaching career enriching all the free periods by teaching art, music needle works and helping them with their homeworks. She has started her journey through tutions right after qualifying her matriculation by teaching children from class 1st and 2nd. This has later uplifted her teaching skills up to class 10th level. She has also started providing equivalency classes to students. She was even capable to be the breadwinner of her home from the income generated by teaching more than 30 children. Self dependency and generating a small share of income is a huge aspect even if you are a person with disability or not.
Rishika was a regular member of the prayer group at school. Her neighbor- a peon at the same school who has observed her talent suggested Rishika's parents that she deserves more adequate training and it brought Rishika to learn classical music. The lessons continued for 3 years.
Three years ago, she got a chance to attend the audition of 'Comedy Ulsavam'- a talent identification program organized by Flower's TV and got selected in it. At that point, some of the social activists requested her for an interview so that they can present it on their social media pages as an inspiration for the people. Many of the channels including Asianet broadcasted the same and that made her distant neighbors know her skills.
Bhoom Beats- a music troupe for people with disabilities have invited Rishika to do programs with them. She has done a handful of stage programs as well. She opines that people have always been nice to her. The youngsters are quite energetic to render their service and some wonder how she could set the equipment on stage. Some even abruptly ask whether things go wrong during the program or is she capable enough for the performance.
In her opinion, there are no greater companions other than our parents. People who stick on to us during the meantime may not be capable to understand us to the maximum.
"I am not a person who goes out frequently. My friends are the ones take initiative to take me outside. The society generally criticizes this act since I am a girl and men help me." Rishika says. She also adds that the disparity between artists with disability and without disability has decreased. But for a woman, the marginalization is evident, especially when it comes to infrastructures like toilets.
Her disability was first diagnosed after she was 9. It started with muscle pain and later difficulties troubled with standing up after falling down and in climbing the steps.
Remuneration is always challenging when there is a severe shortage of programs. Some organizers pay less and some pay in installments. She does craftwork and painting as her hobbies and also fond of singing and recording songs. In Rishika's opinion, the society's outlook on people with disabilities should change. It should be more inclusive and empathetic based on the humanitarian aspects.