They tried to sell their daughter: A story of strength
November 11, 2020 | Contributed by Simran Sagar & R Srivatsan
What memories do you have of being two? What memories do your parents have of you at that age, have you ever asked? Typical milestones of a toddler usually include learning how to run, as there is no denying that toddlers keep their mothers on their feet! Then there is learning to kick a ball, climb on all furniture at reach, with no support.
However, not all children are fortunate enough to be in a home where such milestones are celebrated as they are in emotionally troubled homes and circumstances.
Shravani was unfortunately one of these toddlers. The early stages of life are so crucial as the impressions children like her gather create irreparable emotional trauma. But the upside is, they learn resilience.
She was born on 23rd October 2018 in Medak District, Telangana to a mother and father who were never emotionally or financially equipped to have her. Shortly after she was born, Shravani developed a high fever. Her father, a labourer who worked in Nizamabad, took her to a district hospital for a check-up. Coincidentally, while they were there, he started a conversation with a gentleman who happened to be a child trafficking agent. Since their hearts were never invested into being parents, he was lured into selling his daughter in return for money.
Luckily for Shravani, the Almighty was by her side as the Child Welfare Committee were notified of the incident and they came forward to counsel the family about the repercussions of indulging in such activities. The family returned home and were visited every month by a representative from the committee to ensure Shravani was being cared for.
During one such visit, the girls’ parents confessed their inability to look after their daughter. They wanted to provide the best for their daughter’s life, and they were aware and accepting of the fact that they were not able to live up to this.
The officials from the Child Welfare Committee took custody of the child and brought her to Shishugruha Orphanage in Sangareddy district, Telangana when she was around six months old.
As a routine process, Shravani was examined by a visiting pediatrician at the orphanage when a murmur was detected in her heart. He suspected a Congenital Heart Defect and urged the officials to get an Echo test done for the child. The interior parts of our country however are not equipped to handle medical treatment for underprivileged children even in the simplest of cases, as the entire Sangareddy district did not have an Echo machine for testing. The orphanage was clueless on how to take this forward so the early detection tests got further delayed.
In October 2019, Rainbow Children’s Hospital in Hyderabad conducted a screening camp in Sangareddy district. This was the perfect opportunity for Shravani to be seen, by then she was around one year old. An Echo was finally conducted, and tests confirmed that she was suffering from a congenital heart defect, there was a hole in between the lower chambers of her heart. Medicines were prescribed and she was put on follow-up.
Just before the lockdown, in early March a few officials from Shishugruha Orphanage took her to Rainbow Children’s Hospital again. The results revealed that the medicine had not worked, and the size of the hole was the same. What’s worse, her hemoglobin was abnormally low. She needed to start medications right away and return after six months for an open-heart surgery.
It is commendable that the orphanage never gave up and kept with all follow-up appointments for their little Shravani. In October 2020, the little girl was given the green light as she was fit for surgery! However, considering the financial burden of the surgery, medical treatment for underprivileged children was beyond the means of the orphanage. Since Rainbow Children’s Hospital is a partner hospital of our Foundation, the case was brought to our attention. We were able to extend our support all thanks to our CSR partnership with The Himalaya Drug Company. On the 20th of October, she was operated on and discharged within a few days.
We have been regularly following up on her progress. She is now showing more confidence in walking and now even running, as she finally touches her toddler milestones! She is surrounded by love from the caretakers at the orphanage and we only hope that she now builds happy memories and perhaps even gets the chance to bless a family, soon!