A 10-year-old girl in a non-discrete village in the eastern Indian state of Bihar has caught national attention.
Seema lost her one leg – amputated after an accident two years ago – and her labourer parents are too poor to buy her a tricycle. But her disability has not dimmed her passion for education. She hops to her Fatehpur Middle School, a kilometre away from her mud house.
A video of the fourth-grader struggling her way to school on her right leg went viral, prompting Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal to appeal for support. Help poured in from good Samaritans and actor Sonu Sood also chipped in.
Jamui district magistrate Avaneesh Kumar Singh visited her home on Wednesday (25) and gifted her a tricycle with a promise to provide her with a prosthetic leg.
Praising her determination that set an example for others, the official said, “the district administration salutes the girl’s courage and willpower”.
“We have also taken her measurement to provide her with a prosthetic leg within a week. We have given incentives collected from the community to help Seema”, The Times of India quoted him as saying.
He also promised a proper house for Seema and her family – she is the second of six siblings.
Seema’s mother Baby Devi, who works in a bricks kiln, appreciated her schoolteachers who have been supporting her with textbooks. The girl’s father Kheeran Manjhi works as a labourer outside Bihar – India’s poorest and most densely populated state.
Seema’s grandmother Laxmi Devi recalled the days after the girl met with the accident.
“She was unable to move outside after the accident. But one day she told me that she wished to study and will go to school. It is because of her courage that she overcame the trauma and started going to the school on one leg,” Laxmi Devi said.