My name is Hema Parimala and I live in a remote village called Radhanallur. In our village, we did not have roads, lights, hospitals and schools. My mother was married as a second wife to my father, who was aged above 60 and didn’t live long. It was only me and my mum. My mother worked at the fields and earned RS.100 a day (£1.06 per day).
When I was 6 month old baby, while I was sleeping in a cradle made with a saree, the lamp fell down and our hut was set on fire. My life was saved, but my body had burn injuries and it was not shallow. I grew up with scars on my face and body. I was rejected by everyone. I felt my voice was not heard. I was alone and felt depressed. I thought I will not be able to face anything in my life.
Mother struggled to live and also to take care of me. She fell sick very often with stomach pain and could not move from the bed. She was not able to go to work and was diagnosed with tumour in her stomach. So she decided to enrol me in Joy home when I was 11 years old. It was a life changing experience – our carers saw that I was not left alone from any group. I really have great friends at Joy home. I felt very happy and relieved, feeling free at last.
My palm was hurting a lot when flexing my fingers. I was not able to open my palm and I was not able to use my fingers to lift anything. Doctors said I had to have surgery before I turned 18. Our Charity arranged for the surgery and I had my first surgery 2 weeks ago. I have 3 more surgeries to release my thumb, index and ring finger. A skin graft will be done in over my elbow and upper arm in 6 month intervals. It will make my hand function as a normal one. I hope to have my hands working well in a few months. It’s about getting my confidence back. It is like coming alive.
So this is my story and there is a joyful ending. Now I’m 18 years old and I’m studying BA History 1st year. I thank all the sponsors for changing my life. Thank you and thank you very much for sponsoring me. Love you all.