‘I love having a purpose’
While Laxmi struggles to accept her condition and harbours dreams of living like any of her friends, she does not want to plunge into matrimony without giving it serious thought. “I’m frightened of putting my future into the hands of a person who could be a bad man. I am scared somebody could ill-treat me and then abandon me when he wishes. Also, I can’t have kids anyway. So I keep wondering what’s the point of getting married?”
She drops her head and looks down. Then, a moment later, her face breaks out into a smile when she spots Suman return home from school. “I like being in her company. She is my best friend,’’ says Laxmi.
Unlike most 20-year-olds, Laxmi does not go out often. “I prefer playing games on my laptop or mobile phone and watch television soaps or films at home,’’ she says.
She is also starting to enjoy clothes shopping, which is good as her part-time job means she has to help other shoppers. “I want to be a financial support to my family,” she says. “I was scared when I was first offered the job but I’m tough and I’ve overcome my fears to do this.”
Laxmi’s boss Bosky Arora, 33, owner of The Lisa Collection shop, says, “Laxmi is a wonderful confident girl, I hope I can help her gain some independence.
“We must help everyone where we can. And anyone with a disability should be helped to feel as normal as possible. Laxmi and I have become good friends.”
Laxmi says, “I love having a purpose now; coming out every day to earn money is wonderful. It’s brought a lot of joy into my life and it’s given me a new determination for the future.
“My boss is very supportive of me and she makes me feel really good about myself. I’m very pleased I came across this opportunity to work in her company.”