Hope springs eternal and circumstances can and do change for the better. This is the one lesson one draws from the life story of Meenu, 24, a hearing and speech impaired woman, who will be married to a Delhi resident, Ankur Kumar, who is also hearing and speech impaired, on Friday. Kumar is employed with a lawyer.
Meenu's journey to a happy fulfilling life was aided by the UT social welfare department.
Officials ensured that she was trained in cookery and tailoring to be able to be self-reliant. She was also trained in communication through sign language and the efforts have borne fruit.
Found dejected at the Sector-26 grain market by the Chandigarh Police and handed over to Nari
Niketan centre run by the department in 2009, she was trained in sign language at Vatika Special School, for children with hearing and speech impairment. Tailoring was taught to her at Asha Kiran, a vocational institute for differently disabled, working for education, skill training and health of such individuals. This was done after the department made all efforts to trace Meenu's parents.
Five years after taking care of all necessities, the department, after getting her consent, gave a matrimonial advertisement in leading newspapers and received eight responses.
The department formed a committee which interviewed the aspirants, and selected Ankur after medical examination and police verification.
The news has brought cheer to the Nari Niketan centre.
Director UT social welfare Rajesh Jogpal said: "The expenditure on the marriage is being met by contributions made by staff members of the social welfare department and other related units."
In another sign of self-reliance of the inmates, trainees at the Asha Kiran are cooking the food for the function.