Vijitha lost her father in the war. The mother, her younger sister and brother live in the temporary house in Jeyanthi Nagar. ‘My future is bleak and hopeless for me without my right hand. Many hours during day time is spent on taking bath by drawing water from the well with my left hand, changing clothes, trying to eat using three fingers which can function in my left hand and taking care of me’ she stammered as she poured out her feeling of desperation. ‘I hate to look at myself in the small cracked mirror hanging on the mud wall of my house. I vaguely remember my Montessori teacher who was fond of me. She used to call me to the front of the class when she taught the nursery rhyme:
Chubby cheeks, dimple chin
Rosy lips, teeth within
Curly hair, very fair…’ Now the cracked mirror tells me another version of it.
Deep scarred cheeks with plastic upper palate
Shapeless lips, good effort to close the mouth
Matted uncombed hair, burnt skin with fiery shell shrapnel…’
she narrated. Tears welled up in her beautiful eyes, broke the dyke and dripped down her cheeks.
As her right hand is lost and being a survivor she has been getting help to overcome PTSD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Rehabilitation is still on process.