Kavitha Kesavan from Thrissur, Kerala, was diagnosed with spinal tuberculosis as a class 9 student. Kavitha was bedridden, depressed and had virtually lost hope. But she fought through to become a young entrepreneur with a successful business in handmade products. She also teaches this skill to other people with disabilities.
31-year-old Kavitha Kesavan from Thrissur in Kerala shows how determination and will-power can take you to places in life. Diagnosed with Tuberculosis on her spinal cord, Kavitha thought her life would be confined inside the four walls of her house. This youngster has come out of it, thanks to a bunch of people around her. Today, Kavitha who is a wheelchair user, runs her own business venture of making umbrellas, paper pens and other hand-made products. She teaches all these to other people with disabilities too. She is here to live life to the fullest.
It was while studying in class 9 that Kavitha was diagnosed with Tuberculosis on her spine. But the operation that was done on her went wrong. This error was identified upon further diagnosis from a hospital in Coimbatore. But it was too late by then, and Kavitha’s condition had worsened. She could not sit or stand on her own and had to rely on her mother Thankamani.
I was bed-ridden for twelve years. I did not know about anything happening in the outside world nor did I want to step outdoors. During those twelve years, I thought that due to a disability, I cannot achieve anything in life. I had lost all hopes. – Kavitha Kesavan, Entrepreneur
She did years of physiotherapy and that helped her to sit up on her own. Slowly, Kavitha started look at the positive side of life. She knew there was hope.
It was a few years back that Kavitha became part of a nearby palliative care center where she started to learn new things. Kavitha had never travelled until then. But they took her to new places and she started exploring and knowing things better.
Sitting on her wheelchair Kavitha completed her schooling. She is currently pursuing her under-graduation on sociology and awaiting her exam results.
“It took me twelve years to know what all I can do. But now I know what I was missing and what I can achieve too. At times, I do regret those lost years. But I would rather look at the future than regret over the past”, she says.
The team at palliative care taught Kavitha to make hand-made products. She started off with paper-pens and paper flowers. Her paper earrings were an instant hit. “During that time, there was a demand for paper earrings because they were in fashion. So I had many people buying them from me”, she says.
Earning on her own and supporting her mother who is her caretaker boosted Kavitha’s confidence.
She started learning to make umbrellas. With monsoons being full-fledged in Kerala, Kavitha’s umbrellas have a huge clientele. “Due to lockdown, there are less demand for paper pens and other such products. But due to monsoons, people have to buy umbrellas. I sold over 100 umbrellas this season”, says Kavitha with a smile.
This youngster is also teaching other disabled people to make such products by sending across videos.
Kavitha also rides a three-wheeler scooter and does things on her own. Being the Thrissur Secretary of All Kerala Wheelchair Rights Federation, Kavitha is active in social work as well.
“I hope to do my bit to empower more disabled people who have lost hope in life. I want to bring them to the forefront. I also hope to do a course in Master of Social Work very soon”, says Kavitha.
Throughout her journey is her mother Thankamani who stands by her daughter. “I feel happy when I see Kavitha doing things on her own. From being a bed-ridden person, she is an independent young woman now. As a mother, I want to support her in all her dreams and ambitions”, she says.