"My disability is My strength"
Hello guys, I'm Darshana Ramgiri and my story is a lot filmy. I was born on 29th November 2000 with lots of complications and disability. I have cerebral palsy.
It feels weird when people on roads look at me differently. My school was not ready to accept me because of my disability, but my mom fought for me. The case went to the High Court then later I got an admission.
I was happy I got an amazing group of friends and teachers in my school life. My life has been a roller coaster ride and I would also love to share my journey with mental health because I feel it's very important to do so.
In our country India, mental health is something that is locked in a box and kept aside. In 2018, I was diagnosed with depression, which turned into panic disorder. It was a difficult phase of my life. It brought out the real me which was hidden.
In that phase, I took a high jump and dived into my life so deeply. As I visit "Ummeed child development center" for the past 16 years for my physical disability therapy, I also started mental health therapy at Ummeed. Ummeed has a very special place in my life. It's like my second home. If I would introduce Ummeed, it woul be like this- " Ummeed is a not-for-profit organization providing family-centered care to children with developmental disabilities and their families. Its trans-disciplinary team of professionals provides evidence-based care for children and families based on their needs."
Now one of the best that came out of this journey was the 'The Little Book Jugaad'. Jugaad is a little book of know-hows on mental health, written by young people. Jugaad was written by 14 of us from ages 14-19. We all got together to author this book on mental health.
“Jugaad” is a word used to describe life-hacks that people use to solve problems. It also applies to mental health problems – what ‘jugaad’ do people use to take care of their mental health. It is a book that describes what mental health looks like to us young people. It includes stories of people and their Jugaad that helped them take care of their mental health. The copies of Jugaad have reached many places in India and a few places outside of India.
People have also come forward to share their jugaad mental health on our Instagram page. Jugaad was created with the hope that this book is a first-person's account of young people with mental health and acts as a supplement to all the expert-based literature on mental health. My reason and hope to write this article is to spread awareness about mental health, also want to give more power to those who go through it daily.
I just want to say you are not alone, it's normal, value small ways to happiness, life is so beautiful.