I met Chinnamma when I had gone to visit activities of an NGO in Madurai (TN) called Littles Trust. Littles were celebrating their 9th anniversary and had assembled kids from all their centers across 16 villages around Madurai. There were about 265 children and 20 volunteers and management members present, but there was this one little girl with a wonderful smile expressing a real ‘free bird’ feeling who attracted me most and in the end even inspired a bit. Curious to know more about her, I went to Mrs. Vardhini (Founder – Littles Trust) and started speaking about Chinnamma. What started as a funny conversation with Mrs. Vardhini and Chinnamma turned out to be something extremely poignant and thought provoking for me.
Chinnamma was (and is) an extremely sharp and smart kid – with good skills in Mathematics. Ask her what is the balance when you have spent 2 rupees out of 10 rupees, she points out to you and laughs saying ‘idu kuda teriyada ungalukku??’ (Don’t you know even this?) J Not only could she answer the question but she could also make good fun of you, sensibly. But only later did I learn that Chinnamma was ‘disgraphic’ – she cannot write her own name on a piece of paper. We definitely have heard of dyslexia (thanks to Tare Zameen Par!) but how many of us have heard about disgraphia?
Chinnamma has been studying in class II for probably 3 consecutive years now. Chinnama does not care about all these, and all she wants to do is to enjoy and have a good life – be smiling as always as in this photograph. Mrs. Vardhini has very encouragingly agreed to coach Chinnamma in the coming academic year and make her appear in Class V examinations independently, given that schools have lost hope on Chinnamma.
Thinking about the larger picture, few thought-provoking aspects:
- Every problem has a solution and until you figure that one out, it is ok, don’t freak out and freak the rest of the World out. Thinking of the larger picture, your problem was probably nothing!
- ‘Thank god’ Chinnamma. There are still ‘real people’ like Mrs. Vardhini on earth to help you, unconditionally.
- Kudos to the spirit of Chinnamma – the ever smiling and I don’t care attitude is something I and a lot of people today in cities need to learn. Just imagine what would you have done, had you flunked in a single paper in your school examinations?? (leave flunking a year or worse 2 years).
- Everything serious need not be showcased in an emotional manner – I refer to my interaction with Mrs. Vardhini and her introduction of Chinnamma. It was just said as a matter of fact, with no desperate attempt to evoke any kind of emotion or sympathy/empathy in me.
- Sriram Sabhapathy; Visited on November 12, 2011
Here is what Madurai Messenger – Times of Madurai, had to say about Littles Trust.