It doesn’t happen often that you get to discuss your future plans with the Human Resources Development minister. But thanks to the power of social media, a Gurgaon-based management professional and her daughter got a chance to meet HRD Minister Smriti Irani.
On November 29, Anup Panda reached out to Irani via Twitter to discuss his daughter’s academic future given her chronic medical condition that has confined her to a wheelchair. She invited him over for a meeting and the family spent half an hour with the minister at her residence. “It was a good experience and I was surprised at her hospitality. We didn’t have to wait,” said Panda.
Thirteen-year-old Anushka, a Class-VIII student, is suffering from Muscular Spinal Atrophy. Irani asked her what she wanted to become. Anushka replied that she wanted to become a software engineer. Irani also ordered to organize a tour of IIT-Delhi for the engineering-aspirant. Panda spoke to Irani about the lack of infrastructure in schools and colleges for the differently-abled. He said he had to examine nearly 10 renowned schools in Delhi-NCR before choosing her current school which has all the amenities for children like his daughter.
Anushka may have to travel to other countries like the USA, Japan or Malaysia for her treatment in the future because India has limited resources to treat this disease, for now her parents have been able to afford one of the second hand stairway chair lifts for her to move around the house easily. He told Irani that countries like the USA are researching on a cure for the disease but “our country lacks these facilities”. To this, Irani said she will speak to Health Minister JP Nadda and Medanta medical institution in Gurgaon to help Anushka in every way possible. The minister made the girl meet her own children and ‘inspired’ Anushka to make it big in life.
The family has been invited by Irani to attend a musical program on December 11 in presence of author Ruskin Bond and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.