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The Hindu : Front Page : A 10-year-old spokesperson for her family


A 10-year-old spokesperson for her family

Special Correspondent


Akhila appeals to Governor Rameshwar Thakur to help her family tide over a financial crisis brought on by a medical emergency



— Photo: V. Sreenivasa Murthy

Appeal: Akhila seeking help from Governor Rameshwar Thakur at Janata Darshan in Bangalore on Saturday.

BANGALORE: All eyes at the Janata Darshan were on the frail figure of 10-year-old Akhila from Bakshi Garden in Bangalore as she boldly appealed to Governor Rameshwar Thakur and members of the State administration to help her family tide over a financial crisis brought on by a medical emergency.

She started her speech in Kannada but switched to clear English when she realised that she was not understood.

She appealed to the Governor on behalf of her aunt and mother, who she said had given up everything to save the life of her three-year-old sister, Neetha, whose liver had been damaged by a bout of severe jaundice.

Akhila's mother is handicapped and her father died in an accident sometime ago.

Her petition said that her aunt, who was very poor, had spent all her savings of Rs.73,000 on the treatment of Neetha a year ago. The family was now in dire straits.

The previous government had promised to reimburse 50 per cent of the money spent by the family but that cheque had not reached them.

Petition

As the only articulate member of her family she had come to present the family's case. She had written the petition herself in a neat handwriting, and the Governor read it with great attention.

He stood up from his seat and bent over the little girl to seek clarifications from her.

In a five-minute interview, a rare thing in most Janata Darshans, Akhila held the attention of the top officials of the Government helping the Governor.

Akhila's eloquence and her boldness had them all pay her immediate attention, and every camera in the banquet hall had her in its focus.

Lost in transit

The officials told presspersons that the cheque sent by the previous government had been lost in transit and arrangements were being made to issue a fresh cheque to the family.

Akhila told this correspondent if some help did not come forth, the family would be in great difficulty, and even her own schooling would be in jeopardy.

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