Stories & Poetry

Prerna – The Inspiration!

[A real story straight out of a mom’s heart. It stands as a true inspiration to me. Read the story to get to know & acknowledge her emotions.]

When I met her : She was so beautiful!

I met Prerna at the acupuncture centre that I used to take my son to, for muscle strengthening. She used to come in with her mother. She was 14 and my son was 3. It was quite evident that Prerna was nothing like what a 14-year old girl should be. I would say, she was around 6-7 years, still cuddling to her toys. She could speak, although it was not clear but was understandable enough.

Acupuncture involves inserting very fine needles at special points in the body to stimulate the nerve cells. My son used to initially take out needles all the time. Thats when Prerna would always say “Babu bahut badmaash hai”[He is a naughty boy]. She wore heavy glasses on her eyes. She could walk but her hands and legs were bent. What ever was her stature, her smile was really infectious. She looked so curious & always wore a broad smile showing off all her innocence.

I used to take colourful story books to engage my son and distract him from the needles. And there was Prerna, sitting besides him. She was so fascinated by these books that she would often ask me if she could take a look at them. Of course I always obliged and even sang nursery rhymes to her:). And why not, she seemed to be such a beautiful soul to me. Full of life & charm, with no grudges towards anyone. She enjoyed our time to the fullest & and clapped at the end of every rhyme or song. It was so fascinating for me and truly very emotional moment to witness with my son & Prerna.

I had an inquisitive mind!

But, most of the times, I had a curious question. I saw her mother only at the beginning and end of the session. The rest of the session, Prerna was alone in her bed. I always wondered where her mother went. To me challenged kids ought to be in the presence of their moms for all the love & warmth at least during such therapies.

One day, I saw a lady sitting besides one more boy getting therapy. As I got talking to the mother I got to know the boy was Prerna’s brother. I shook from inside, had goosebumps all over my body. He was 11 and could barely sit. She had two children and both were physically and mentally challenged. My heart weeped out but I was not ready for, what I was to hear next.

She was always smiling but looked quite distressed today and even had a slight altercation with the doctor. She was a little over my age & was not very educated. Somehow that pain triggered her to share up her emotions with me that day.

Her story!

“She had a joint family & lived with husband, her in-laws, husband’s brother and his wife. They ran a small family business in a nearby town. When Prerna was born, the family was for sure not happy. First of all a girl and that too challenged. Their community still had love for boys and wanted her to give birth to a baby boy. But she and her husband somehow stood together & took her to therapies and some other remedies, with which she progressed day by day. But the progress was indeed not a days affair or a magic, and she knew of it. It had to be a continuous effort. The improvement was slow but yes she could vuch on every small development.

Many people suggested a second baby would not only bring joy to the family but also help Prerna learn things much faster. Yes, it seemed to be true & they planned for a second baby. But God was not happy with their decision, it seemed so. Destiny was being very harsh to her. When they learnt about their son, who was also challenged, they felt as if the earth had drifted. They were devastated. She being a mother, tried to acknowledge the fact with the vows to help her children out.

When you lose support during crisis!

Don’t let that love drop

But her husband was not strong enough to face and accept the truth. It was just a sentence for him which broke her life forever. He said “he had nothing to do with these children”. If there was anything Prerna’s mother needed at that time, was her husband’s support. Since then, she has been fighting not only the society but also her own family to get her children the support they required. Every month she travelled from her town to this clinic for 7 days and get her children the therapies, consultation, and medicines that they needed. It was her perseverance & love for her children through the years that Prerna could at least talk, walk and manage her routine needs herself. And today, her father-in-law had given her six months. Six months to prove that this therapy was doing her children good. If she failed to convince, he was not willing to support her further with any more finances.”

Destiny was better to me!

I looked at my son – at 3 he could walk, he had not started speaking yet but I was sure he soon would. I am an educated earning lady. Even if the world goes against my son, I can myself afford his therapies and education. I am blessed with a loving family. Never has my son faced any rejection from within the family. In fact, it was my father-in-law who found out about this acupuncture centre and suggested that it would benefit him. If I was busy with something else, my husband or my mother-in-law took him for therapies. My husband was always there for me when I felt a little lost, depressed. My son has a loving and encouraging atmosphere at home and the results are quite evident with his significant growth.

She was a true inspiration!

I really wish Prerna’s father was a little stronger. But my heart goes out to his wife. Struggling with two children, facing rejection from own husband and a family who thinks she is wasting their hard-earned money on her children. It has been 3 years since I met her, as I stopped my son’s therapy after a year. But even today, whenever I feel God has been unkind or unjust to me, I think about her and ask myself, “What’s your excuse?” She gives me inspiration to go. Probably that’s why she kept her daughter’s name Prerna – An Inspiration.

Hope- inspirational story
Let that Hope live

[Thanks Ritu for sharing this post. What a true inspiration. Our society is yet to acknowledge the fate of these kids. It is only love & optimism which can help them lead a worthy life. They deserve everything right from family’s love to schooling. To see them grow better should be the only motto of the family & society.

And yes, Prerna’s mother is indeed a true inspiration, to all brave mother’s who have been defying the world to prove themselves. We bow to you & every Mother, this mother’s day! Your efforts will not go waste for sure, pure love can never desolate. There isn’t a word in the dictionary to describe how I feel about inspiring Mothers!] 


Ritu & her son!
God Bless the love!

Get to know Ritu in her words : Juggling between being an IT professional and mother to a boy with Downs Syndrome. Besides being a wife, daughter, sister, daughter-in-law, sister-in-law, I am here trying to rekindle my passion for writing and use it primarily to create awareness and acceptance for Downs Syndrome in our society. Besides, I am also passionate about raising my voice for the place of women in Indian society and in the Indian corporate world.

  1. Anosa

    What a truly inspirational woman, showing a true mothers love going against all odds. It’s a shame the father doesn’t have the same courage and strength as his wife

  2. Amber

    Thank you for sharing. This woman is so wonderful–it’s a shame the father decided not be there for his kids. I don’t know why some men do that. But her kids will always know their mother is around.

  3. Shilpa Bindlish

    Hi Jhilmil

    It’s tragic to know about Prerna’s story. Wish future has something positive for her n her brother. And I pray for sound health of your li’l one. I;m sure we will hear you saying that ‘he no more needs these therapies’. Kudo to courageous parents.

    1. Jhilmil

      Hey thanks Shilpa, this story was shared by one of my good friend who has faced this & has a DS baby. She is really very strong & I love her looking at the courage with which she faces the world about her baby.

  4. carol

    Just such an inspirational story. But you are an inspiration as well! Downs’ syndrome is a huge illness to deal with on top of daily life. You are fantastic!

  5. jadoreledecor

    Heartbreaking and encouraging at the same time. I hope and pray that this Mom gets the help and support she needs. I wish I could do something.

    Your words about Prerna’s father were quite mild. Even if one is not “strong”, if you force yourself to do what is right, your heart will catch up. Abandoning a family you helped create because things are not “perfect” is unacceptable behavior in any culture.

    1. Jhilmil

      That’s really what pained my friend while penning this out, how can one leave the family he created..It forced me to bring the voice out somehow out of her..No society or culture should accept it

  6. chelf

    Thanks for sharing Prerna’s story, I read this post in one breath. Heartbreaking and so empowering and inspiring at the same time! You are amazing!

  7. toastycritic

    That would have to be really difficult most definitely. I can’t imagine how hard it would be to be in a society that didn’t recognize the beauty in these kids and have things for them.

  8. audriaallred

    How inspiring, I love to read stories like this, there is truly nothing like a love that a mother has for her child.

  9. theterrificfive

    Some moms are just so amazing. I have healthy kids and I complain everyday about how hard it is. Meanwhile there are people out there with much tougher situations but live everyday with a smile!

    1. Jhilmil

      That’s very true betty. when I see such people, I thank God to have given me such a better life & remember that I need to smile my tough situations!

  10. lacunasocial

    what a wonderful story! Every year I go to a farm with my son, that is run by people with disabilities – it’s so important to me for him to realise everyone is different and it’s all good

  11. Sushmita Thakare Jain

    Love knowing the stories of such Inspiring women as it’s motivates me as well as many others out there. Gad you shared it with us on this amazing occasion.

  12. radhika17

    Abandoning one’s family is one of the greatest sins there can ever be, and I hope that the father will realise this, in this life itself.
    And Prerna, I have such respect for her, and I’m so glad that even though she was in deep waters, she decided to swim and not to drown. Her strength is exemplary and should be an example, so thank you for sharing her story!

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