"The wheelchair has been a great benefit; Amanthi’s life has changed for the better."

Amanthi was just a baby when her parents noticed she was not developing like other children. With particular concerns about her posture and communication, they took her to hospital where she was diagnosed with cerebral palsy – a condition they knew very little about.

Although it was not what they expected for Amanthi, the family was nothing but supportive of her from the outset. Her two brothers were eager to help her around their home and her parents were determined they could get her the education she deserved when she was old enough.

Sadly, stigma and discrimination remain rife in India and the wider community was not so tolerant of Amanthi’s disability. Some of the neighbours accused the family of causing it by sinning in the past. Others avoided them altogether. They began to feel left out and isolated by their friends.

As Amanthi grew older, it became more difficult for her parents to care for her. Unable to sit up alone, her parents had to hold her or leave her to lie on the floor. She was too heavy to carry to the shop or to gatherings in the village, and the family had to stay indoors. Cut off from the world around them, they began to worry for Amanthi’s future and the education they dreamed of.

But when Amanthi received a Motivation wheelchair, the impact was immediate for the whole family.

The Moti Go is specially designed for children with cerebral palsy. It features supportive seating which is essential for a young child’s posture, and has a detachable tray which is perfect for play times and meal times.

Amanthi's life has changed for the better.

“The wheelchair has been a great benefit," Amanthi's mother told us. "The chair is very good for her posture and for her to see what is going on.”

Amanthi’s parents and brothers received training which helped them better care for Amanthi and use her new wheelchair correctly. And most importantly, Amanthi was able to attend events in the village again and enrol in school.

“Amanthi’s education is very important; she enjoys it and is very proud of her school," she continued. "It has also been very encouraging to see how she has developed socially with the use of the chair. She can now go round to other houses and can watch events in the village. This inclusion is vital.”

Amanthi’s teacher is very pleased with her progress. To begin with, Amanthi’s parents sat with her during class and the other children avoided playing with her. But over time, she has built up the confidence to attend alone and has many friends who play with her and help her every day.

For Amanthi and her family, the future is now looking bright.

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Photo credit © Matt Grayson