Sakina is 3 years old and suffers from left-side hemiparesis (muscle weakness on the left side of her body). Her maternal grandmother is a survivor of the 1984 Bhopal gas disaster, so her mother Subhana grew up hearing stories of the terror of that night. By the time Sakina was 18 months old and began to miss important development milestones, including the ability to sit or stand, Subhana knew her condition may be related to her mother’s gas exposure and brought Sakina to Chingari to consult our team of physiotherapists.
Subhana brings Sakina to Chingari every weekday, cradling her lovingly in her arms as she sits and talks with the other mothers between treatment sessions. Due to her young age and her muscles still developing, the physiotherapists work carefully with Sakina, going through a series of exercises designed to help her better control her weak left hand, as well as both of her legs. Progress has been slow but is yielding positive results. Over the months Sakina has learned to both sit and stand independently and can now walk and climb stairs as long as she has a hand for support. Through working with Chingari’s resident occupational therapist, she is also better able to perform simple movements and tasks with her left hand.
Sakina is one of a group of younger children at Chingari born just before or during the pandemic, making the clinic a very important social space where they can start to learn and play with other children. After her treatment, Sakina is always excited to see her father in the evenings and loves going on trips with him on the back of his motorbike.