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Braving the Odds to Build a Bright Life

Braving the Odds to Build a Bright Life

Born on 10th January 2006, Unnathi was diagnosed with Down Syndrome at birth. As in most cases, her family had not heard of the term Down Syndrome before and didn’t know what to expect. “It wasn’t how I had expected my daughter to be welcomed in this world”, says the mother Mrs Meghnaa Surana.

Unnathi was blessed to be born in a joint family where every member only sees the upside of life. In fact, her Dadaji named her Unnathi because he knew that she was here to grow.

The turning point in her life was meeting Dr. Surekha Ramachandran, the president of the Down Syndrome Federation of India. When Mrs. Meghnaa traveled to Chennai to meet her, Dr. Surekha shed light on therapy and treatments saying, “Your daughter will do whatever you believe she can. It’s all about your belief and your efforts.”

Since then, the entire family has rallied around Unnathi and helped her blossom. Physiotherapy, sensory integration, speech therapy, yoga, chanting, special education – they left no stone unturned. Her brother Mudit was 3 years old when she was born and he’s her best friend, teacher, guide and critic. He is the biggest influence in her life.

Fountainhead School, Surat has played a huge role in empowering Unnathi. She has been for every school trip, anchored shows during school events, participated in fairs and exhibitions, and also gets opportunities to help around in the community. The management and her teachers are very co-operative and her peers are regularly sensitized – a school that’s truly inclusive.

Unnathi is an orator having won poetry recitation and speech competitions (among neurotypical contestants) at the school and city level. She is a crusader for Inclusion and wants to be known for her efforts, irrespective of her medical condition. She has started her own Youtube Channel to show the world that people with disabilities are more than what meets the eye.

Unnathi recently cleared the Grade 3 Trinity Speech and Drama examination with a Distinction. She is also the Brand Ambassador of the Down Syndrome Federation of India.

Owing to her incredible achievements, Unnathi spoke at a virtual event organised by the United Nations on the occasion of World Down Syndrome Day. At such a young age, she has braved all odds and truly shaped her life to take an inspirational course.

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