While we (Sreya and Sushant, MA Education, 2020-22, Azim Premji University) were doing a household survey of school-going children in the Nalanda district of Bihar, as part of our 15 days internship with Prof. Jean Dreze on “Pandemic and Fundamental Right of Education”, we came across Chandan, a 12-year-old boy who suffers from multiple disabilities.
About Chandan’s Disability
Soon after Chandan’s birth in 2009 in a government hospital in Nalanda, doctors could not see any limb movement in the left side of the body and declared that Chandan is disabled. Treatment began since then, first in a government hospital, then in a private hospital. Nothing changed for Chandan, and his condition kept on worsening. He started standing on his leg much later in his life, that too with support. He required support in standing till he was 8-9 years old. Even after he started standing on his own, he finds it difficult to walk on his own and always needs someone by his side. What broke our hearts when we met him is that he smiles, laughs, points at things (you could see in the photo) but he doesn’t speak. He is partially deaf and fully dumb. The other major problem he has is that he drools continuously. His disability certificate (issued by Bihar Government) states that he is 80% disabled. The certificate doesn’t indicate the medical condition he has.
About Chandan’s Family
Chandan’s father is a contract laborer who does construction work in Kolkata. His mother cooks mid-day meals in the government primary school in the village. Chandan has one elder brother who stays in the nearest town to study. His brother's study is supported by the maternal side of the family. He also has a younger sister, who studies in 5th grade in the primary school in the village. Chandan’s grandparents who don’t work, are his caretakers who stay by his side throughout the day to assist him in going to the washroom, cleaning, bathing, feeding, and giving medicines on time.
Family’s Economic Condition
His father, who is a contract laborer, barely earns 5-6 thousand per month. His mother gets a monthly of ₹ 1,465 that too is given irregularly. The family doesn’t have any other assets. Whatever they earn is very little to support a family of seven members and meet Chandan’s monthly medical and nutritional expenses.
What Chandan Needs?
Medical Support - Chandan’s monthly medical bill costs ₹ 3,000.
Educational Support - Chandan is enrolled in a government school, although he is unable to go to school or study since he needs a caretaker to constantly be by his side. A hearing aid machine and a tab on which he can engage himself in learning activities would be a great help to him. Tab and a hearing aid machine would collectively cost him around ₹ 50,000.
Nutritional Support - Chandan needs high protein content to be able to stand and walk. His monthly nutritional needs include milk, egg, Horlicks, etc… This costs around ₹ 2,000 per month.
Our plan to use the funds
We have thought to send monthly medicine and nutrition supplements every month to Chandan's family till the time we have a flow of funds. By the end of this year (2021), we will also be purchasing a hearing aid machine and a tab for Chandan. We request you to support our cause.
How we can help Chandan?
To support Chandan and his family financially, we have created a fundraiser on “Milaap” a free fundraising website. We request you to please make a donation or share the link on your social media so that it can reach potential donors.
Chandan’s family hasn’t even thought of giving up on him no matter how tough their going gets and try their best to keep that lovely smile on his face. Given their background and limited incomes, they are really struggling to support Chandan. Please support Chandan.