Preethi Srinivasan receives Kalpana Chawla award

Preethi Srinivasan, the former State under-19 cricket captain, who braved a crippling accident to support those suffering from spinal cord injuries like her, was on Tuesday presented with the ‘Kalpana Chawla Award for Courage and Daring Enterprise’ award by Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami during the 71st Independence Day celebrations at Fort St. George in Chennai.

Ms. Preethi, confined to a wheel chair, started a trust called ‘Soul Free’ to create a help group for others like her. “After my father died of heart attack and my mother suffered a stroke and became sick, I was faced with many difficult questions about how I was going to take care of myself. That’s why I decided to start this trust to support women who have been similarly affected by spinal cord injuries so that they all can lead a life with independence and dignity,” she said.

Stating that her mother egged her on, Ms. Preethi added that she didn’t know where to start and how to go about creating a support system. “I didn’t believe that I could. I didn’t know the law or how to file income-tax returns. Besides, I thought what could I do? But then, two girls I knew, who were also similarly confined to a wheel chair, were taunted so much and they died drinking poison. That’s when I thought I must do something,” she said.

Her organisation strives to provide all-round support. “We have already provided 100 wheel chairs – best-quality wheel-chairs worth between ₹18,000 and ₹25,000 a piece. We also give a monthly stipend, provide seed funding if they have a business idea, mobility aids and provide for medical rehabilitation,” she said.

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Printable version | Sep 19, 2022 12:58:21 am |