Braving brittle bones, Dhanya shows way
Despite 400 fractures, she raises funds to cover monthly medical bills of over 30 children.
Twenty-four years ago, a cruel twist of fate at birth scarred her for life. But 400 fractures in her body inflicted by an extremely rare Brittle Bone disease did nothing to dent Dhanya Ravi’s remarkable fight back.
Living through that pain every day and night, Dhanya today strives to help scores of underprivileged children with the same ailment live with dignity, her tireless, inspiring social-networking efforts raising funds, empathy and compassion.
Based in her parents’ Jeevan Bima Nagar home in the City, Dhanya outwits her frail, weak body to connect with her online friends, well-wishers and a growing list of inspired activists.
Networking socially, she conjures up an organisation called Amritavarshini, raises enough money to fund the monthly medical bills of 30 children afflicted with Osteogenesis Imperfecta (Simply put, the Brittle Bone disease), and still finds energy to follow her passion in music and jewellery design !
Her mind unwilling to be stifled by her physical limitations, Dhanya yearned to reach out to hundreds like her. That opportunity came when she chanced upon an article about Binu Devasya, an OI patient and a poet. “His friends had put up this article on the net. I wanted to help him somehow. Through Latha Nair, his godmother of sorts, I raised some money through my musical friends.
That contributed to the medical bills of his rod-insertion surgery,” Dhanya told Deccan Herald, her voice confident and firm.
It was only the start. Over the next few months, Dhanya and Latha worked in tandem to add meaning and voice to their charitable society, Amritavarshini. More than 50 children with OI lined up to register, including one from Australia.
“Thirty of them were financially poor. Now, our funds afford us to send them Rs. 500 every month to meet their medical expenses. I am happy that we are able to help these children, all thanks to the people around me who share my vision,” quipped Dhanya.
In 2008, Dhanya and friend Kiran had fine-tuned her avid interest in music to create a portal of Malayalam lyrics, which eventually covered 6,000 songs. Two years later, she developed a movie database. These efforts won her a huge network of fans.
“I wanted the OI children too to enjoy at least one day in a year in the company of musicians, to forget their pain and suffering. So, along with Latha aunty and Amritavarshini, we started arranging get-togethers for them,” she explained. The expanded network helped Amritavarshini and the dependent OI children.
But Dhanya has more work to do. She is now trying to find jobs for the OI children with talent.
Her experience of raising funds from Origami papercraft works made by these children for a medical firm, has given her a new confidence. Having watched her remarkable transformation for 24 years, her parents K Ravi and NS Nirmala know she wouldn’t let this mission fail.