Vimala’s Story:

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Vimala Mangilal Chaudhari, is a student of Balwadi no. 12, Sangharsh Nagar, Chandivali, Andheri (E). She is a native of Marwad (Rajasthan) but her family, along with Vimala, had to migrate to Mumbai for earning their livelihood. Her family consists of five people – father, mother, Vimala and her two siblings. Vimala, however, is unlike her siblings as she is mentally and physically challenged. Moreover, due to certain circumstances, she was never able to get a medical treatment. But situations changed when Vimala’s family got connected to Mumbai Smiles’ Balwadi team.
The Balwadi team was conducting a survey in Chandivali when it came across Vimala. At that time, she didn’t walk and communicate effectively. Whenever she strived to speak, a certain fluid came out from her mouth. Moreover, she used to walk with the help of her head. The team had cognizance of the fact that admitting Vimala in the Balwadi and looking after her would be challenging but despite such awareness, the team took up this task and after taking permission from higher authorities, admitted Vimala in the Balwadi program. All these events turned out to be positive for Vimala.
After her enrollment in Balwadi, her family started seeing many positive changes. Her personality persistently grew and developed. Earlier, she didn’t use her own hands while eating but now she does so and also consumes many healthy foods such as dal, rice, fruits, vegetables, etc. She has also started reading, writing, recognizing alphabets, numbers, animals etc. She has initiated walking independently and enthusiastically participates in every activity at Balwadi. Her mother drops her to Balwadi daily and Vimala stays behind for 3 hours. Every morning, she eagerly waits to reach Balwadi. She also gets ready on weekends for the class. This is her 4th year since enrollment. She has made many friends in Balwadi and behaves like other normal students, despite her challenges.