Udupi: Stunted by Fate, Little Deeksha Dreams Big
Daijiworld Media Network - Udupi
Udupi, Jun 9: Her body may be stunted due to a disorder, but young Deeksha Shettigar's confidence and determination to 'grow' in life is sky-high.
Deeksha suffers from Achondroplasia, a disorder affecting bone growth that causes the most common type of dwarfism.
In most cases the disorder appears as a spontaneous mutation. This means that parents without achondroplasia may give birth to a baby with the condition, as in Deeksha's case.
She was a premature baby, born in the seventh month of pregnancy. Bad times followed, with her father Shreedhar Shettigar deserting the mother and the child as the baby was a girl and not a healthy one either. He wanted to get rid of the 'burden' and soon married another lady without anyone's knowledge.
To little Deeksha, who hails from Kappettu, Ambalpady, her mother Hemalatha was her greatest strength and support. The mother became her role model, and Deeksha's grandparents and uncle too stood by her.
As compensation, Shreedhar has to give Rs 1,000 to the mother and another Rs 1,000 to the child (Deeksha), but from past few months the money is not being paid.
"Deeksha needs Rs 5,000 a month for her treatment," said her mother.
There is no specific treatment for achondroplasia. Related abnormalities, including spinal stenosis and spinal cord compression, should be treated when they cause problems. As she is weak she keeps falling every now and then which creates further problems.
People with achondroplasia seldom reach 5 feet in height, and Deeksha is just 3 ft 9 inches. Their intelligence and mental capacity remains normal.
Moreover, as the disorder most often develops spontaneously, prevention is not always possible.
Deeksha was good at her studies till seventh standard, scoring 80 percent and above every year, but she gradually lost interest in studies. Her mother could not figure out why, but was content with the fact that Deeksha still wants to study further.
From fourth standard to tenth she studied at St Cecily’s School, Udupi. She was keenly interested in participating in cultural programes and other activities, and her friends would help her reach the school hall which was on the third floor.
Science and mathematics were difficult for her because of the instruments she had to holdee, though she was ready to do anything to better herself in education. For the SSLC final examination, half-an-hour extra time was given to her to finish the exam.
Having passed SSLC, Deeksha’s ambition is to become an advocate after completing her degree.
Those who wish to help Deeksha achieve her dreams and help her mother look after her daughter may send their contributions to the following address:
Garadi Mane Road
Contact: Hemalatha (Mother): 9964194390
A/c No - 016400101016264
Udupi 576 103.
IFSC Code - CORP0000164.