The Tale of two brothers

By

Poonam Rose Abraham

A brother is an irreplaceable friend with whom you share all the troubles of life, someone who is there when you need him the most, and one of the best confidants in the world. For Jagneesh and Ranjith, this bond is much more special.

           Jagneesh and Ranjith are two brothers from the beautiful village Ramanthali in Payyanur, Kannur. Within a span of one and a half years, both the brothers met with the same destiny. When Jagneesh was 12 years old and Ranjith was 14, they were identified with Muscular Dystrophy, a genetic disorder that damages and weakens the muscles over time, from NIMHANS Hospital, Bangalore. Both of them had to soon discontinue their studies and settle for doing small-scale winding and repairing works for their neighbours and friends.

It was through his friend Bipin that Jagneesh was introduced to Krishna Kumar P Sreelatha –  the vice-chairman of MIND (Mobility in Dystrophy). Through the WhatsApp group of MIND, the brothers met Kishore Chavra, a man who made and sold paper pens. The brothers liked the idea and decided to work with him in the paper pen business. This helped them to find an activity to be engrossed in and also to support themselves financially.

              Last year, at a school reunion, all of their friends came together and gifted motorized wheelchairs to Jagneesh and Ranjith which helped them a lot. With the new-found mobility, Jagneesh was able to embark on a career in lottery distribution. But, unfortunately, he had to discontinue the job due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Even though his brother and he faced many such uncertainties in 2020, the year also gave them something to cherish. Seeing the living condition of the brothers, the Baithu Rahma foundation of the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) constructed a house for them, in which they can move around with ease in their wheelchairs.

             The love, care, and support of their mother inspire the brothers to start their day with a smile on their faces. They depend on her for their day-to-day activities. She is a daily wage earner and, before going to work, she makes sure that her sons are ready and comfortable. Their father, sister, and her family also help the brothers. They occasionally enjoy a ride to nearby beaches and temples with their friends who have always got their back. The brothers also attend a yearly three-day camp held by the FLY (Freedom for Limited Youth) foundation in which they have been members for the past four years.

                Jagneesh and Ranjith look forward to the day the road leading to their house becomes wheelchair-accessible so that they can go outside the house with fewer hindrances and can be a part of the lives of their friends, loved ones, and their village. Even though they worry about their future they make sure it doesn't affect their present and welcome every day with open arms.