Manya, age 9, suffers from Dravet Syndrome. The condition is a form of epilepsy resulting from a rare genetic mutation. Studies have shown that exposure to MIC gas can result in genetic damage to chromosomal DNA, meaning the effects are transgenerational and her condition could be a result of her maternal grandfather’s exposure on the night of the disaster in 1984.
Dravet Syndrome is accompanied by seizures, developmental delay, and speech impairment. As she grew, Manya felt she was falling behind her friends and could not express herself the way she wanted. With the help of Chingari’s speech therapists, she is now able to speak basic sentences, and has even started to use her improved tongue control to blow bubbles. She also loves her English classes and can now spell her own name and can identify and name colours in English as well.
Away from the clinic Manya enjoys playing games with her parents. Her favourite activity is playing badminton against her father, with her mother helping her to hold the racket and always encouraging her to win. She also loves watching Indian cartoons, her favourite one being Oggy and Cockroaches, about Oggy the cat and his three cockroach flatmates.