Inspirations: K Sujatha, 52, Care-Giver

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Photo: Krishnendu Halder

Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh

Samrat Chakrabarti
New Delhi

Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) is a genetic disease that slowly eats away at one’s muscles until one is no longer able to walk, talk, or finally, live. One in 3,000 males reportedly suffer from it. The Venkatesh Muscular Dystrophy Foundation in Hyderabad, run by 52-year-old K Sujatha, helps patients and families come to terms with the disease. Years of emotional trauma of seeing her son battle the disease, of being informed that he won’t see his 15th birthday, of failing to get permission for euthanasia, of watching him waste away until his death as a 25-year-old in 2004 made Sujatha decide to start a centre for those afflicted with DMD. “I made a promise to him (Venkatesh) that I would find a way to help others with DMD,” she says. Named after her son, the institute offers medical counselling to help families of affected people ensure there are no other carriers. For those who can’t afford it, Sujatha finds sponsors to pay for the tests and medicines. A care centre, however, has not materialised for want of funds, but Sujatha is undeterred. With help from the Nizam Institute of Medical Sciences, she is already a beacon of hope for many. “My son wanted a care centre,” she says. “Every day I pray I can keep that promise.”

Sujatha can be reached at +91 93913 00429

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