Our Young Peer Counsellor
Peer counselor at 9
When in UKG and at less than six years, Manoj suffered a high-level spinal cord injury. He was messed around in Chennai hospitals draining the economically challenged family of all resources. His dad drives an auto and the family lives in daunting circumstances. Nothing fazes Manoj.
Following rehabilitation in Christian Medical College, Vellore, he has been doing well in school. After missing a year, Manoj rejoined and is now set to Class IV. He is going to Anita Methodist Higher Secondary School in Vepery, Chennai. This school has a good track record and has also been open to enrolling persons with physical challenges.
There has been a disturbing rise in children suffering spinal cord injuries over the past two years.
In the past year and half Manoj and his parents have visited the Mary Verghese Institute of Rehabilitation thrice and shared his experience with the nine children and their parents. He has motivated them to get back to school and effortlessly handled questions that even elders would be hard put to answer.
He has also gone to a small village to meet a boy who has been severely impacted in the road accident having lost his ability to use his hands fully and freely.
The way Manoj conducts himself, whizzing around on the wheelchair, itself provides confidence to not just children, but also any body who happens to meet him. He has already made a difference to several lives and is a few months away from stepping into 10. The Spinal Foundation is proud its youngest Peer Group Member.