#Personal Stories

My Clubfoot Story: They Said There Is A Problem With This Child, For Me There Was Always Hope

Ekktta Sinha
Not every story is sad. There are some, where there is a successful attempt to convert sadness into joy and defeat into victory. It’s a matter of perspective. There is always hope.  Here is my story of living with a clubfoot.

There is a problem with this child.

I was not born as a “normal child”. Those who know me and meet me every day will not understand this. You will think, what does she mean? All is well with her. Yes, everything is fine but it was not right when I was born.

When I was born, that’s why the doctor said, look at the girl, we have not changed it. On seeing me at a glance, even the family members did not understand what the doctor was pointing to. Then the doctor pointed to my left foot and said that this baby girl was born with a clubfoot.

Clubfoot is a birth defect where one or both feet turn inward and downward. The affected leg may be smaller than the other leg. Without treatment, the foot remains deformed, and people walk on the sides of their feet. This can cause pain and difficulty in walking. There is a difference of 4 to 5 inches in both my feet. Now imagine the birth of a girl with this deformity in a country like India!

The doctor told all the treatments which were available in Patna at that time. My leg was tied with a rod. Since the child’s bone is soft, all the measures that could be taken to straighten the leg were rolled out.

My childhood was not normal yet normal. Mambu (my Grandma) would try to straighten my legs for hours after the massage. The help of physiotherapy was being taken. My treatment happened under a Padma Bhushan awardee doctor. Along with the treatment, my family members also took care that I never feel that I am different from other kids around me.

I would go to school in special shoes. Many times girls ask why one of your legs is thin and the other is normal? Why don’t you wear school shoes? But no one ever understood me less. Permission to wear special shoes was taken from the principal by writing in the school diary. But seeing other children, I too want to wear school shoes.

And then – one day my mother was cleaning her almirah. A mother’s almirah is like a pandora’s box for the kids. So, I sat down observing her. She took out the birth certificates of all my siblings. Along with them, a separate certificate was there in my name. At the time of discharge from the hospital, I was also given a certificate that mentioned the details about my clubfoot. I started reading it aloud. Showed it to my father too. Papa took it from me and asked me to throw it away. He said those people were not the right doctors. They don’t know that there is anything wrong with my daughter. If you can run, jump, dance, then what is the need for it.

My leg hurts all the time. Sometimes the pain is unbearable, despite this, I chose journalism as a career, my family members were worried about my choice but no one stopped me. I never let the pain overpower me during my reporting assignments.
With time, my family members also stopped worrying about my feet. They understood that I could live with it in a normal way. Today, I have no complaints about my life. I have learned to make the lack a strength. I am lucky that I got my family’s support and the best medical treatment. Many people are not that lucky. My father always said, don’t look down on anyone, don’t be proud of your beauty and perfectness. Respect humanity.

Chalte Chalte – The purpose of this story is not to get any sympathy. About 50% of clubfoot cases affect both feet. God bless that my condition is very good. I feel I am just like any other person. I don’t need help. Definitely I regret not being able to wear high heels.

Hahaha.. Being a girl that’s allowed I suppose? What Say?

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