Millions of Indian Youth Are Languishing Because of Chewing Tobacco

By: Rahul Bharadwaj, India

On May 31st, World No Tobacco Day (WNTD), no one, except people like me, can understand the significance of this day. Until last year I did not even know when WNTD was, let alone its relevance. My life completely changed 4 months earlier when I was diagnosed with advanced mouth cancer that was a direct result of my habit of chewing Gutka pan Masala. Like several of my college friends, I started taking rupee gutka pouches that were sold just outside my college as mouth fresheners. Those days, little did I know that I am buying death and disability in one rupee. By the time the current text warnings came, I was heavily addicted and could not leave it despite threats by my wife and daughter.

I represent many youth in India who are diagnosed with mouth cancer every year and millions who are languishing because of their habit. I have seen death in very close quarters and no one can understand my pain. I had toxic chemotherapy, deforming surgery and painful radiotherapy. Despite all this, I am still not sure if I will live long enough to be here for my daughter’s next birthday. [...] continue the story

Life – Jibon

Personal and private story of a family of Guwahati having a 12 years old boy named Ron suffering from Duchenne’s Muscular Dystrophy, a rare disease having no cure at sight. It is shot in actual locations with real-life characters. The film is shot with the real characters acting in their life story.

A Leap Ahead

Disability is only in the mind and anything can be achieved through determination, self-motivation and commitment. When a “Mongolian” baby was born in Chuttur’s family, the entire life of mother gets focused around this child. She nurtured and raised him to stand along with normal kids. Observing the efforts and patience of the wife, Subhash Chuttur started experimenting with mentally challenged, employing them for simple jobs. One by one, the number of these experiences increased and so also did the confidence of Subhash Chuttur. Today he does not stop at that, but takes every opportunity to convince others to employ such persons. This film sends a message, how such specially-able persons can be integrated within society. More importantly, it also conveys a need for change in attitudes toward the disabled people in society.

My Hands

Sunder is a 21-year-old young man whose both hands are crippled and desolately useless. He suffers from cerebral palsy. Born into a poor family of utensil-makers with five children, Sunders’ condition seems pathetically hopeless. The moment he raises up from the bed, his younger brother Santosh becomes his hands. Santosh tends Sunder like his own body by helping him with toileting, brushing his mouth and washing him up and any sort of food consumption. But Sunder has a secret. He attends high school and is currently in his pre-graduation. He has learned to use his foot as his hand. At night he studies by sitting in the bed beside a lantern. Sunder wishes to finish his graduation, find a job and support his poor family.

Beyond Belief

Something remarkable happened for the first time in Asia. Sixteen physically challenged people went on an expedition to demand equal respect.They trekked through areas that normal people would dread to dare. What was unique was their arrival at a desolate location in the Gorumara forest in trolleys? The clanking of iron wheels on long unused iron tracks injected a challenge in the home of the Indian elephant and one-horned rhino. The four teams had prepared well for the ordeal ahead. Each team had one visually impaired person, a speech and hearing impaired person, one person without upper limbs and one person without lower limbs. They were made aware of the dangers of the expedition… and chose to ignore these with indomitable resolution. A team of 16 differently-abled persons wrote a new chapter in the history of human achievement.

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