Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, June 16
In June 1998, BD Sharma (81), a resident of Sector 44-D, was acquainted with the pangs of dotage — first when he retired from the post of Assistant Food and Supplies Officer at the Haryana Food and Supplies Department and then when he underwent an open-heart surgery.
The sole breadwinner of his six-member family, Sharma invested a considerable chunk of his salary on the treatment of his youngest son, a specially disabled, Ganesh Sharma, while shelling out the rest of his money for household expenditures and on the education of his three daughters and a son. Ganesh, who’s now 30 years old, never went to a school. He’s the only one among the four of his siblings who looks after his father. On Father’s Day, The Tribune correspondent visited the father-son duo. “If I, despite my disability, can take care of my father, then so can normal people,” says Ganesh, who crawls to the drawing room with a glass of Glucon-D. His legs cannot take the weight of his body. “We thought surgeries could treat the defect in my limbs, but the doctors gave up. I have this deformity since birth. In and out of hospitals, I never went to school. In fact, I cleared my Class V when I was 16 years old, way back in 2004,” he shares.
Ganesh’s father has poor eyesight and is partially hearing-impaired too. The open heart surgery has rendered him weak and the loss of his wife, who passed away in 2009, has left a void in heart. “All I now have with me is my disabled son. All my other children live with their families and enjoy their space, and here’s Ganesh, who is my support for survival,” says a teary-eyed Sharma.