When 12-year-old Akshaya saw the plight of those in flood-affected areas of Kerala on TV, she was distraught. The state of Kerala has been going through extremely testing times for the past few weeks due to unprecedented rainfall and consequential flooding.
Akshaya hails from a small village called Kumarapalayam near Thanthonimalai in Karur district of Tamil Nadu. The young girl has generously come forward to donate whatever she can from the little money she has crowdsourced for her second heart surgery.
This warm gesture comes from someone who is herself fighting to lead a normal and healthy life. In spite of having to raise money for her own surgery, Akshaya has pledged Rs 5000 from the Rs 20,000 that has been raised so far through crowdfunding for her heart surgery.
Jothimani, her mother, is a single parent and a daily wage farm labourer who toils through the day to support her three daughters.
“She wanted to help. I did ask her, ‘how can we, struggling to make ends meet as it is, contribute during such a time?’ But she was determined that she’d donate, even if only a little,” shares Jothimani over phone to TNM.
Akshaya, who is the first of the three girls, was born with a congenital heart condition that worsened last November. Her father passed away six years ago and she has been living with her grandparents along with her mother and sisters. “We knew she was born with a heart problem but the doctors said there were chances of her leading a normal life,” says Jothimani.
However, Akshaya’s health took a turn for the worse end of last year. “She had severe breathing problems and at one point couldn’t walk and her body would turn blue because she wasn’t getting enough oxygen. We had to carry her to a private hospital for treatment. Her first surgery was done in November 2017,” shares her mother.
For the surgery, Jothimani sought the help of her friend to collect funds online. “We requested people to contribute through Facebook and were able to raise Rs 3.5 lakh for the surgery,” she says gratefully.
With Akshaya’s second surgery scheduled for November this year, they will have to raise Rs 2.5 lakh this time.
“We’ve started crowdfunding again and we’ve collected Rs 20,000 so far,” says Jothimani adding, “We know how important contributing even a couple of thousands is. We hope our contribution will be of some help to those in Kerala.”