PARENTING: There are millions of people in the world and among them are a handful of beautiful souls who positively impact a lot of lives with their little acts of kindness. And among them is Pune’s Aditya Tiwari who has dedicated his entire life for the upliftment of kids with Down Syndrome.
A software engineer by profession, Aditya’s life changed when he adopted his son Avnish on January 2016. In a time when adoption itself isn’t a popular choice, Aditya became the youngest single male to have adopted a child, reported The Indian Express.
“I met Avnish on September 13, 2014, when I visited an orphanage for the first time on the occasion of my father’s birthday. I came to know that all children had been adopted except one and they pointed at a handicapped child, about five to six months old. Nobody wanted to adopt the child, said the authorities. I thought if nobody wants to adopt him then I will,” he said.
And while he was trying to adopt Avnish, he learnt a lot about adoption and its laws and found that some of them were unfavourable.
“I wasn’t eligible for adopting any child in India because the minimum age required for a single parent to adopt a child legally at that time was 30 years. I was 27,” explained Tiwari.
He further added, “I learnt about the adoption laws in India. I started writing emails to all national leaders including the Prime Minister, requesting them to consider my case to be exceptional. The government departments initially rejected my plea, while pointing out that I was only a common man and not any celebrity,” Tiwari said.
Even societal prejudice became a hindrance in adopting Avnish. “Legal issues aside, I wasn’t considered eligible for adopting any child, thanks to societal prejudices where people thrive on what others will think of you. Secondly, nobody had heard about a single male parent adopting a child and that too one who is differently-abled.”
“I was bombarded with questions, such as why I wanted to adopt a child, and if I was unable to produce one biologically. I was told only a woman could take care of a child.”
“So, it was obviously a difficult and different journey for me,” he recalled. However, his determination and will power to bring Avnish in his life paid off and he finally welcomed his son home when he was just a 22-month-old, reported NDTV India.
After bringing Avnish home, he quit his job and started counselling, guiding and motivating parents of children with special needs. He also started spreading awareness about adoption and Down Syndrome. However, he’s never alone. Avnish, who is now six-year-old, accompanies him wherever he goes. “Avnish is right at the front, motivating parents who have children with special needs. He may not speak but his presence plays a major motivating factor for parents,” said Aditya.
The father-son duo has toured 22 states and held meetings, workshops, conferences and talks at nearly 400 locations. He has also opened a bakery in Kolkata where he employs disabled people. Isn’t this something worth appreciating?
Well, to honour his effort, Aditya is to be felicitated as the ‘World’s Best Mommy’ on March 8, at an event organised in Bengaluru to mark International Women’s Day. Several other ‘dynamic mothers’ will also be awarded at the event.
Talking to The Indian Express, Aditya said, “I am delighted to be honoured as one of ‘world’s best mommies’ and I am looking forward to sharing my experience of bringing up a child with special needs.”
As of now, the father-son duo is getting ready for another counselling session. Aditya is also busy taking care of Avnish who was earlier diagnosed with two holes in his heart. “But without any medical intervention, the holes have disappeared. The child, however, is facing some medical issues and has to undergo two surgeries. Both surgeries are important for his life, he will soon have to be operated upon,” said Aditya.
Aditya stood against all odds to give a home to Avnish. We are proud of you, sir!
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