There is a small village in Mehsana District of Gujarat. There lived an eight year old girl…..ASHA ( Hope), cute – just beauty personified. One can feel the penetrating sky blue eyes and wonder why her name is not Aishwarya Rai? One would be tempted to ask her hand as a daughter- in- law if one had a son of her age. However, such imagination will be illusory- will get distorted the moment she stood up.
Oh no she is, in fact, not able to get up-stand up. She had an attack of polio in her childhood and both the legs have lost their utility. The upper half of the body is Aiswary’s but lower half of a ,,,,,,,,,!. Who would take care of her in this small village? Poor parents have to neglect her and go for earning their daily bread. What is her fate? future ? Should she be drowned? And what on her maturity? Women are any how unsafe and a beautiful girl/woman, though disabled, is more unsafe -How to protect her? Make her life?
Some one suggested to send her to Manthan, an Institute for disabled girls, but the parents were hesitant. They loved the child and were afraid of her being neglected in absence of their care and love.
The well- wisher was sure. He promised, she will be taken care of even better. He asked, “Do you take care of her all through the day? All the hours? Day and night? There is some one who cares for the whole day and even the night. Try once; if Asha is not comfortable, bring her back, but nothing wrong in trying.”
Mother asked: “Is there some one who would be a better mother? Are you sure?”
The well-wisher said “Yes, there is, her name is Niruben., Niruben Raval.”
. Dimple belonging to Visnagar is just seven years old and she got attack of polio. She lost both the legs. Two misfortunes followed, hell and fire; hell in form of the death of her mother and fire in form of a step mother. In India, daughters generally are considered a burden by mothers…They compare rearing a girl with rearing a snake…. One is not sure when the snake may bite. In case of girl, when someone will ill-treat her ,bite her/ rape her… and this girl was immobile; could not protect herself; not able to move and moreover, not a helping hand in family or farm work and also a STEP DAUGHTER. Step – mother and step- child mostly do not go well together.
Niruben in her young age met a few girls of such challenges and decided to set up a REHAB CENTRE FOR POLIO AFFECTED GIRLS ….ONLY GIRLS … by disposing of the GOLD given to her by her mother and resign from a trouble free office of the Principal of a school looking after physically challenged BOYS. She had to face many sleepless nights before taking this decision, implementing the same; raising the resources; getting support but the firm unfailing determination, and the good fortune of such girls could give birth to Manthan. in 1991.