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A challenged child, a determined mother, and birth of a star

Updated: Sep 3

Our Prime Minister's special yoga drive brought this very special present to me in aspiring my daughter Nanki to this wholesome and sustainable sport that could bring such a welcome change in her confidence and well-being.

While I thank the PM for bringing yoga up at the national level, I would like to showcase Nanki as a role model to all the physically challenged kids so that they get inspired and take up this sport much earlier in life for a better and healthier tomorrow.

Nanki, born as a special child with delayed motor nerves, speech impairment and intellectual deficit is surely a role model today for many children born with a medical condition and aspiring to turn their lives around.

While all of us fight against the external world to develop skills, compete, and excel in our area of interest, Nanki, in her early childhood, was busy fighting her inner body battles to fulfil her very basic daily needs.

Over the years, her challenged bodily faculties had led to low self-esteem and a lack of confidence, and she was often seen struggling with expressive communication. Simple repetitive tasks would exhaust her and she would break down into tears and many times remain inconsolable for the rest of the day!

Her life changed dramatically during the pandemic, When we were all restricted within our homes, she found solace in yoga, as this not only made her body more flexible but also helped her reduce her weight. Yoga augured well for her, as slow motion exercises would match her pace of understanding the different yoga instructions and executing them at her own will and speed. Yoga improved her blood circulation, thereby reducing body cramps, and perhaps it worked as a mood calmer and enhancer too!

We started to see her at peace with herself as she would practice yoga on her own and suddenly shy away as soon as someone noticed her doing so.

This phenomenon over time strengthened her low-tone muscles and even improved her basic motor functions like walking, eating, and even talking with much better clarity in speech. She would now run her daily errands with much more ease than ever before.

Nanki’s journey of being focused, committed, and sincere sets an example for the mainstream and the special needs community. Despite her physical and intellectual challenges, She has taken up yoga therapy and is doing her best to shape her future. A faint smile on her face now stands as testimony to her new 'released form," which never existed before.

(The writer Navneet Kaur is a Special Educator)

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