With great difficulty Lipi tells her story. Speaking is difficult for her because of her uncontrollable muscles. But she is a fighter and does not give up. Lipi is 12 years old. She was born healthy as the second child in her family. A few days after birth she got meningitis. Due a lack of medical care she developed a muscle paralysis.
She is completely independent, though it costs her a lot of energy to get her limbs under control. Thanks to the support of her parents, she grew up as a happy young girl who does not shy away from challenges. When her peers went to school, she told her parents that she too wanted to go to school. Her parents did not hesitate, put her prettiest dress on and went to school. But the teachers showed little enthusiasm. They found Lipi a deterrent child. The parents did not accept no for an answer and demanded that Lipi was enrolled at school. But she dropped out after two days.
For two years she did not go to school. When her parents came in contact with the staff of Niketan they were asked about Lipi’s school history. As the Bangladeshi government requires all schools to admit children with disabilities, Lipi should not be excluded. The teachers informed the Niketan staff that they simply did not know how to deal with people with disabilities and how to deal with the bullying of other children. An intensive interaction with the director, teachers and children followed. Information related to the disability of Lipi was given to the teachers and fellow students. Examples of famous people with disabilities were cited and Lipi’s feelings and rights were discussed.
Thanks to a weekly follow-up, she became just one of the students. Like all children, she has friends and she passed her annual exam. She is finally accepted.
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