Here’s a story of an inspiring mum from Kalimpong, who has fought all odds in life in bringing up her elder son and continues to do battle every challenge with unbeatable spirit in life.
Meet Aarti Bajla who was strongly nominated to be featured on Mums and stories by her sister Sonia Jalali, who felt her story needs to be heard. We couldn’t have agreed more when we decided to speak to Aarti.
Aarti over a telecon with Mums and stories shares the journey of being a mother to a son who has cerebral palsy.
“Shocking is a word that often comes to my mind, but more so when I had just become a mother. I had realized over 23 years ago when I saw that my child, Tushar was not meeting the milestones he should be as he was growing up. My relatives would tell me he is premature, underweight and that could be the reason why he was not growing as other children. Somehow I was never convinced.
I went to many doctors and still didn’t have answers until we went to Chennai and in a bigger hospital I was told my son would remain a ‘vegetable’. I was devastated to say the least. Over there I came to know that he has cerebral palsy, a term I hadn’t even heard until then.
It is on innumerable counts that I have broken down while being a mum. Years ago, no school was ready to take him to educate him. One school finally agreed if I were to get him everyday and sit with him during the school hours and teach him too.
Today my son is 23 years old and has to be taken in a wheelchair. He can read and write and I am trying my best to take care of him along with the support of my husband and family. My routine is very hectic as my son is completely dependent on me. He even has optic atrophy and that makes him to an extent visually impaired too.
I have done my teacher’s training and now even manage an NGO called Vihaan, in collaboration with the Rotary Club. We not only teach special children, but also train parents to become more connected to their kids and to bring them out in the open
I also have a younger son -Kabir who is full of life and gives me a lot of joy in being with me. Initially my younger one would cry, question why his elder brother doesn’t play, doesn’t walk or do like normal siblings. Off late he seems to understand and probably has accepted the situation too.
I worry about my son as I know the world is cruel but I don’t expect my younger one to take this burden all by himself. However, I hope he can understand and be compassionate on his brother’s situation. I am slowly also seeing Kabir, my younger one taking a stance for his elder brother when required.
Over the years as a parent and as a teacher I have seen many moms who are either disinterested or too stressed over frivolous aspects when it comes to parenting. I had decided that I would be neither of them. I try to take things positively and I feel I have accepted life as it has offered me.”