Lady with Beaming Smile
- Poonam Rose Abraham
"Living a life of your dreams is a blessing," says Remya Ganesh, a young lady who has come out of her cocoon and has flown up as a pretty butterfly, after nine long years of isolation and is now living her dream life.
In a picturesque village called Kannadikkal in Kozhikode, Remya was born as a healthy baby girl to Mr Ganeshen and Mrs Sathidevi. She was a little doll for her brother Satheesh and sister Sajitha. Unfortunately, when she was nine months old she fell sick with a high fever as the side effect of Polio vaccination. The fever gradually affected her brain that ultimately weakened her body. Even though she had a cheerful childhood, she missed jumping and playing around with her friends. She did her schooling at Nadakkavu Government Girls Higher Secondary School.
Due to the unavailability of a scribe in her school, Remya couldn't get through her matriculation. Adding to her countless sorrows, her father too had passed away which made Remya sink into depression. With the continuous help of her family and friends, she got out of that depression.
One day, an Anganwadi teacher near her house visited Remya and told her about a three-month Computer and Personality development course organised by Dr. Reddy foundation in Nadakkavu. Even though it was a little far from her native, seeing the loneliness of her daughter, Remya's mother decided to enroll her in the course. Her mother never thought that it was going to become a life-changing incident for her daughter.
When Remya first visited the foundation, she met many people with disabilities who go through more than of herself. Meeting these people and befriending with them changed her outlook about life. Sukhadev, Sandeep K M, Narayanan, Jaffy and Rajesh (RS) were not just her mentors but were more like a family to her. Mr. Rajesh guided her to read and love books and Mr. Ifthika helped her to discover the poet in her.
It was Suhdev who encouraged her to continue her education and enrolled her to write her SSLC examination through Saksharatha Mission and she scored good grades. Later, she joined for Commerce at her school in Nadakkavu where Ms Bushara and Ms.Vasanthi served as great support to her. She is presently doing her Bachelor's Degree in Malayalam at Malabar Christian college.
It was through Ms. Bushara's friend, Anas Kollaran, who was a former physiotherapist at PVS hospital Kozhikode, Remya, got her first motorized wheelchair. With the newfound mobility, Remya started to explore those places which she once had longed to see. She is very much grateful to her teachers, friends, and family for giving her this dream-like opportunity. Being a devotee of Lord Krishna and Goddess Saraswathi, Remya now could visit temples nearby, for which she is very much happy.
When Remya talks about Sukhadev, she becomes out of words. It was through him Remya came to know about the foundation "Dream of Us", an NGO for people with disabilities who sponsored her higher education, travel, and other expenses. She's indebted to Mr Narayanan and Mr Jeffy, the founders of the NGO along with Sukhadev She was an active member of the foundation and also coordinated an art exhibition under the auspices of the foundation, "Swapnachitra", in 2020 where differently-abled artists displayed their artwork.
It was during a chat with her friends, Remya shared her dream about modelling and dancing. They encouraged and supported her which paved the path for her to become 'Kerala's first wheelchair model'. This was part of a three-day carnival named 'Curious' hosted by the Institute of Palliative Medicine (IPM) Kozhikode as a part of 'The palliative care day' in 2019. She also did modelling as a cover girl for the Praajahita Foundation's magazine. With the support of Prakash Mathew, owner of Yellow Wing, Remya decided to take up modelling as a career. Her friends assure her that her wish for dancing also will actualise soon. For that, the dance company 'Sastra' last year composed a dance video with Remya dancing along with them in her wheelchair.
She wants to thank her family, especially her mother, who is her best friend. She also thanks to them for their love, care and support that they have showered upon her throughout her life. Appu, her sister's son helps Remya to visit places and takes care of her in absence of his grandmother and little Sreekutty is always around the corner to lend a hand to her favourite aunt.
She dreams to help those children who are with intellectual impairment. She wants to tell people with any disability that they should be strong, confident, and fight for their dreams. Sukhdev once told Remya to go to places and do things that leave an impact of you on others' hearts, you have to be part of a history. These words are the motivation behind Remya's success which has made her to reach up to this and the sky will be the limit for her.