Overcoming all odds
Mahesh, who is six, has not let his father’s death and his mother leaving him change his resolve in going to school. Today, he is part of Mumbai Smiles Foundation’s preschool
Six-year-old Mahesh Mohan Kalyam hasn’t had it easy. His father passed away last year, and he, along with his mother, moved in with his grandmother. However, things took a turn for the worse when Mahesh’s mother ran away six months ago. She has been missing ever since.
These two tragedies at such a young age has not deterred Mahesh. He lives with his grandmother, Pendtamma Bakayaa Kalyam, a daily wage labourer, and the sole bread winner.
It wasn’t easy at first, as Mahesh does not understand Marathi or Hindi. His first days in school were difficult, and he would only communicate using sign language. But this didn’t change his resolve, and he would enthusiastically learn how to communicate by regularly interacting with his teachers, who have been trained by Mumbai Smiles Foundation, as well as his and classmates.
Today, Mahesh can confidently introduce himself, narrate numbers in English, Hindi, and Marathi; name birds and shapes, and is one of the most active students in school.
As per instructions given by his teachers, Mahesh cuts his nails and hair regularly. He loves preschool, and has also made his grandmother an integral part of his learning and development. His grandmother, too, is grateful to Mumbai Smiles Foundation for helping Mahesh out.