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7-year-old refuses to let birth defect paralyse his dreams

7-year-old refuses to let birth defect paralyse his dreams

Author: Ram Parmar and Priyanka Borjpujari
Publication: Mumbai Mirror
Date: May 15, 2009
URL: http://www.mumbaimirror.com/index.aspx?page=article&sectid=2&contentid=200904252009042502282844524b8b67

Shravan Gupta overcomes severe paralysis in the arms to go to school; hopes to become a motor mechanic some day, once he learns to stand without support

Seven-year-old Shravan Gupta's parents are over the moon at the 71 per cent he scored in his Std I exams. That's because, just two years ago, his parents would not have dared dream that Shravan would even be able to move his arms, let alone attend school.

Born with a severe neuro disease that left him paralysed in his arms and legs, this son of a peanut vendor didn't even move out of the house until he was five years old. While Shravan's mother Shashikala took care of his everyday needs, his father Jeevan would pray for a miracle. And in 2007, the miracles began to happen.

In December that year, a social worker suggested the name of Dr Shashikant Shah, an Ayurvedic doctor practising in Viramgam, near Ahmedabad, who is an expert in curing paralytic cases. Shah's only condition was that Shravan make fortnightly visits to the clinic and also stay there for two days. That meant Rs 1,500 per trip, even though the doctor agreed to charge a subsidised fee for physiotherapy. When a dejected Jeevan wondered where he would get the money from, a second miracle occurred. Donors from around the city opened their purses on hearing of Shravan's plight.

A year-and-a-half later, Shravan can move both his hands freely and can even button his shirt, brush his teeth, comb his hair and hold a pencil, says his proud mother Shashikala.

Last year, during the treatment, Shravan had expressed a desire to study. After an initial tussle, Shravan was admitted in Std I of the Zilla Parishad Marathi School in Palghar. His mother helped him catch up with his studies. "We took up the challenge though we are from the Hindi medium," Jeevan said. Two teachers Pragya Patil and Nilima Sankhe took special care of Shravan, by taking extra classes for free, at his home.

Shravan now wants to become a motor mechanic, once he learns to stand without support. And considering all the miracles that have happened to the little boy, we're sure one more won't be such a surprise.

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