Then a double blow; will help come now?

WHAT IS THEIR FUTURE? : Bhavana (left) and Anusha at their home in Chitradurga.

WHAT IS THEIR FUTURE? : Bhavana (left) and Anusha at their home in Chitradurga.  

Firoz Rozindar

Chitradurga: Looking at those tiny figures lying on the floor, it is impossible to judge their age. Born with mental and physical disorder, Bhavana and Anusha are aged seven and five, but they appear too young for their age.

Daughters of G.T. Swamy, a security guard in a private firm here, both girls need constant care as they are fully dependent on their parents who live in a small, rented house.

The only movement they can make is lift their arms or roll on their sides.

“They neither can fix their eyes in one position nor they can recognise people,” said their mother Shivarudramma.

Most of Shivarudramma’s time goes into taking care of her daughters, while her husband is on duty.

Even as she put Anusha on her lap, Ms. Shivarudramma said that the family came to know about the disorder when Bhavana was five months old. She said the child did not show any sign of growth such as identifying voices or holding small items given to her.

“We took her to a private hospital in Davangere and Kasturba Hospital in Manipal, but none of our efforts helped our daughter,” she said. Though years have passed, Bhavana has not shown any signs of improvement. Similar was the fate of her younger daughter Anusha who was born two years after Bhavana came.

She said that the most difficult task in taking care of the children is feeding them. As the girls cannot chew and swallow hard food, they have to be given only fluids or soup.

The couple is in hardship not only because of their underdeveloped children but also because of meagre earnings. With Rs. 3,000 as salary, Mr. Swamy finds it extremely difficult to feed the family and take care of the medical expenses of his daughters. Staring at her daughters with tears in her eyes, the desperate mother said the girls had to be taken to hospital regularly for getting their cough cleaned, as they catch cold immediately. Each visit costs them around Rs. 2,000.

The family, which belonged to Antapur village of Holalkere taluk, was able to earn a decent livelihood from its farmland till last year. “But after a property dispute, we lost that farmland. We left the village and came to Chitradurga city,” Ms. Shivarudramma said. The only sigh of relief for the couple is that the girls get Rs. 400 each from the Government as disability pension.

Worried about her daughters’ future, Ms. Shivarudramma asked, “Is there any treatment for this disease, and will anybody do anything for my daughters.”

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