Cerebral palsy (CP) is a general term for a group of permanent, non-progressive movement disorders that cause physical disability in development, mainly in the areas of body movement. A Definition given by Wikipedia . But my experience when met with Nithyananda, who suffers from Cerebral Palsy, forced me to question the definition. Everyone likes permanency in their life but how i wish it was not the case here. It plainly means nothing can be done to change it but Nithyananda with an unshakable exuberance for life, an unconditional love from his family, and an unequivocal encouragement from some of his peers and teachers has always tried to defy the meaning.
Delay in achieving the baby milestones like walking and speaking made his parents knock the doctors door but it took them 2 years of wandering every nearby hospital and doctor, where they just shoved them off saying “some kids are just slow to pick up things, he is just fine” to finally come across a doctor who diagnosed him as spastic and referred them to the spastic society of India. A shock that took his mother Parimala months of endless sobbing to recover but when she did, she made a strong conviction not to lose hope and provide him the best possible support. She likes to happily describe him as a part of her body and Soul. She has nourished him as a part of her body and has never let him feel isolated.
He could hear and grasp things but he was unable to react or express his thoughts in words as he could not speak and his brain to body signalled movements like hand movements were extremely difficult. But this did not stop his Parents in enrolling Nithyananda to a normal school where he quickly showed great acumen to learning, quickly grasped the subjects, made friends and came out with a first class in 10th and PU. He learned writing, though in big words, due to his difficulty in holding the pen, developed his interest in reading news and current affairs. On the request of his parents, the school and college made certain exemption in correcting his papers by ignoring the mistakes committed due to his lack of coordination.
He now holds a degree in MA, Sociology from Bangalore University. His Mother still avidly remembers the moment when she was introduced to YFS and how YFS volunteers instantly rendered support to her. Their Journey with YFS started when his BA Degree commenced. He needed a scribe in the exam who could understand his rough note of the answer, then correct, translate and write it. This could happen only when the volunteer had spent enough time with Nithyananda understanding his writing pattern. In this endeavour, she is grateful to YFS for providing continued support right from the start of BA to his MA Degree with different Volunteers from time to time working with Nithyananda and assisting him in the exams. It has easily exceeded 7-8 YFS volunteers, as volunteers had to relocate, during the course of 5 years as she now vividly tries to remember some of the names and their contributions. She is very grateful to YFS as she thinks they played a very large role in their dream of pursuing a degree for Nithyananda.
A never give-up attitude imbibed by his parents and a very strong will to make his own mark in the world, with a unconditional support from his parents and guidance from his teachers and volunteers have helped him scale this height. He dreams of becoming a reporter someday and his mother still holds a dream that someday in the coming years he will learn to speak fluently. It is said “A Person is as big as his dreams” – Do we need a better example?