A girl gains independence and a chance at a future
Thanks to CCFC donors, Pappalakshmi got the artificial leg she needed to reach her full potential
By Lipi Jobson, communications manager, India
“Deformity? Who is deformed? Who is disabled? It is your hearts that are deformed; it is your mind that is disabled!” The voice reverberated through the Ashoka trees lining the border of the school playground, heralding a new life for a special girl in India performing in a school play.
Six years ago things were different. Pappalakshmi was born with two strikes against her: she was a girl, and she was missing a leg. When a girl is born to poor families, their first thought is likely “how can we afford to pay the dowry for her wedding?” In this case, many might have wondered: who will want her?
Thankfully, this baby’s parents loved her unconditionally and carried her everywhere until she reached the age of 6. But, sadly, the family’s income was meagre, since Pappalakshmi’s mother devoted her life to her daughter and couldn’t work.
Hope came when Pappalakshmi joined Christian Children’s Fund of Canada’s sponsorship program. Eventually, she was referred to a specialist, and, after several medical examinations, doctors suggested she use an artificial limb. It would cost the equivalent of $120 — a high price for her family — but CCFC helped, and now the 10-year-old doesn’t have to depend on others to live; she can explore the world herself with her new leg.
Back on stage at school, applause rang out. Pappalakshmi had done well. Her mother stood with tears dripping down her turmeric-bathed cheeks. The teachers, school headmaster and other students were impressed by the performance.
It was a proud moment, but Pappalakshmi won’t let the acclaim distract her — she has work to do. Soon after her performance, the devoted student was studying for her exams, as committed as ever to becoming a doctor. “Someday,” she says confidently, “I will be the change.”
A fresh start: (top) Pappalakshmi (with pink head covering) is enjoying a new life with her leg, taking part in a school play and (above) dancing with her sister
About Christian Children's Fund of Canada:
Christian Children's Fund of Canada (CCFC) is a child-focused international development organization and a member of ChildFund Alliance. For more than 50 years, CCFC has been helping children and families of all faiths move from poverty to self-reliance. CCFC supports children and communities in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Nicaragua and Paraguay. Currently, CCFC has almost 50,000 children sponsored, benefiting nearly 400,000 people around the world.