Where There is a Will, There is a Way

A poor Orissa girl with afflicted limbs learns writing with her toes to become a teacher

What can be expected from a physically handicapped, girl living under extreme poverty in a remote village of Orissa – Disappointments, Miseries and Frustrations?

Twenty two years ago Suryakanti was born to very poor parents. As if the curse of abject poverty was not enough, Suryakanti was diagnosed to be suffering from a rare disease afflicting limbs called BAT hand, since her birth. Unlike other children of her age, poor Suryakanti could not use her hands to eat, play or write. She longed to lead a normal life and during her initial years could not even comprehend as to why she is different from other children.

As the years passed by, she realized that she will have to live with her disability. With no options available, Suryakanti decided not to be dictated by her fate but to live life on her terms. She had a strong desire to study. She practiced hard to write with toes of her foot. After failing in her first few attempts, she practiced hard and mastered the art of writing with her feet. Having cleared a major obstacle through her dogged spirit and relentless efforts, Suryakanti set her eyes on the next major challenge facing her – taking her Board Exams and clearing them. The ‘Never Say Die’ spirit in Suryakanti ensured that she succeeds in this too. Recognizing Suryakanti’s indomitable spirit to transform her life through the power of education despite odds, which in essence makes up the ideology of Smile Foundation too, Smile took up the case of Suryakanti under its special initiative, ‘Individual Support Programme’ (ISP). Empowering individuals, particularly children - enabling them to make informed choice, resist oppression, fight for rightful existence and facilitating new possibilities and opportunities for them - is what Smile Foundation strives for.

Thanks to the hard work and determination displayed by Suryakanti, today she is employed as a teacher in a nearby school and leads a life with dignity.

Smile Foundation always looks for more such deserving children and supports them under its Individual Support Programme (ISP) who ultimately set examples for all of us. Smile Foundation takes pride in inspiration like Suryakanti!

You may send your wish to Suryakant through

info@smilefoundationindia.org

Government of Orissa honours Suryakanti

Government of Orissa honours Suryakanti Honourable State Cooperative Minister, Ms. Surama Padhi, Government of Orissa appreciated Smile Foundation endeavour and handed over the first installment from Smile Foundation to Suryakanti at Subarnapur, Orissa. Collector & District Magistrate, Subarnapur, Mr. Benudhar Dash was also present on the occasion of Republic Day at Royal Parade Ground, Subarnapur. Suryakanti belongs to village Gariamunda of Subarnapur district in Orissa.

Government of Orissa honours Suryakanti Honourable State Cooperative Minister, Ms. Surama Padhi, Government of Orissa appreciated Smile Foundation endeavour and handed over the first installment from Smile Foundation to Suryakanti at Subarnapur, Orissa. Collector & District Magistrate, Subarnapur, Mr. Benudhar Dash was also present on the occasion of Republic Day at Royal Parade Ground, Subarnapur. Suryakanti belongs to village Gariamunda of Subarnapur district in Orissa.

Smile Foundation appreciates the dedication of its local partner, ORYSED and determination of Suryakanti. Suryakanti is already inspiring others and is a role model in the state.

Suryakanti Nayak of village Gariamunda, District Subarnapur (Sonepur) in Orissa had it all to make a heart-rending, tragic tale. But, she was not the one to be cowed down by the inexorable destiny. Suryakanti, through her sheer grit and determination, turned the tables on the destiny itself and transformed her life from a life of pity and condemnation to a life of admiration and bravery.

Suryakanti is an Inspiration

Suryakanti Nayak, native of Gariyamunda village in Subarnapur (Sonepur) district of Orissa, is an unmarried girl of 22. Suryakanti has almost no hands but she does everything with her toes, she can even write and teach through her valuable legs. She is an example for those who become hopeless in whatever ways in life.

Suryakanti has been appointed as a primary school teacher (Siksha Sahayak) by the state government in Durdura Primary School, 6 km from her village with a consolidated salary of Rs 2000/- per month since two years now. Everyday she goes to school either by bus or her brother accompanies her on bicycle.
This poor rural tribal girl maintains her family, which has her 60 year old father Prahallad Nayak, 50 year old mother Haripriya Nayak and 14 year old brother Dayamaya Nayak.

Details on Suryakanti

Name: Suryakanti Nayak
Father's Name: Mr. Prahallad Nayak
Mother's Name: Ms. Hariprasad Nayak
Address: Village - Gariyamunda
Post Office - Pitamahul
District- Subarnapur (Sonepur)
State: Orissa
Date of Birth: May 8th 1985
Occupation at Present: Primary School Teacher
Hobby: Reading

The above description is written by Project Associate from eastern India, Mr. Satya Narayan Thakur, when he met Suryakanti at her village on an official visit. Smile Foundation has been supporting Suryakanti and takes pride in her being an example and role model
Mr. Satya Narayan Thakur
Project Associate,
Smile Foundation (Eastern Zone)

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