Being a quadriplegic is not easy, but it is much simpler with loving and caring people around you (especially a mother who has dedicated her life for you). Thanks to Steria for supporting me from day one, where I started and still continue my career.
Pallium India, a palliative care centre based in Trivandrum, is my home now. With the partial control that I have over my upper limbs, I do what I can to assist the chairman of Pallium India. When I am here among lots of good people, life is worth living.
There are umpteen things I need help with, on a daily basis. Hair is one among them. When my hair grows, I am not able to dry it or comb it on my own (I can’t wash it on my own, anyway, however short it is); getting someone to cut it has always been a problem for my mother.
It is difficult to get to a salon, and no one seemed willing to come to me and do it. However, thanks to everyone who refused to come and cut my hair, I got the opportunity to meet a sweet and warm person.
It was the first time I had been to a salon after being paralysed. And Ambika Pillai’s was the best place to be. Since there was no ramp, they had to carry me all the way from the car to the salon. Thanks to Amal who carried me.
Having someone lift and carry me makes me feel as dependent as a new-born baby. But the embarrassment was there only for a moment. The smiling, welcoming face of Ambika Pillai melted all those.
Thank you, ma’am, for acknowledging my situation with dignity and something to look forward to rather than with pity and sympathy. Thank you for promising to make arrangements for a ramp as early as possible.
It will surely be an inspiration for people like me to come out in to the world. And above all, thanks for promising to visit Pallium India! I am so eagerly looking forward to that day.
Staff at Pallium India said: “We hope that Ashla’s message will motivate our society to consider the needs of wheelchair-bound people and not marginalise them.”
Find out more about the work of Pallium India online.