Chennai: While disability is often deemed as an inability, this eight-year-old Nanganallur girl, Alapati Tejasvi, braving not one but three developmental conditions is setting one record at a time. Tejasvi who can barely sit or walk has entered India Book of Records in March for floating on water for 33 minutes and 42 seconds.
Tejasvi since her birth started showing symptoms for Microcephaly (a condition that causes abnormal brain development), Cerebral Palsy (a collective disorder that impacts locomotion, muscle tone and posture) and Autism (neurodevelopmental disorder affecting communication and behavior).
Tejasvi who is barely aware of her abilities and achievements is becoming an inspiration for other children and a motivation to her parents.
Speaking to DT Next, Tejasvi’s mother Alapati Naga Sowjanya said,”Teju’s condition completely restricts her movement and speech. She cannot sit by herself, communicate, understand command or even recognise her own parents. But once she’s in the pool, she is effortless and at ease, which is a miracle for us and even the coach.”
Tejasvi who was a premature baby had her first seizure attack when she was just ten-months-old. Since then her parents had been pursuing different medical treatment for her, both in the city and in Kerala. Sowjanya claims though Ayurveda and acupuncture treatments for several years showed many behavioural changes, Tejasvi achieved a milestone when she started aqua therapy in November, 2021.
“Last year, during one of our physiotherapy sessions, we learned that aqua therapy helps cognitively and physically. Since then we started taking three classes per week. Though Teju has difficulty in understanding command, she explored water by herself and started floating,”said Sowjanya.
Explaining how Tejasvi managed the nearly impossible for her condition, acqu therapist, S Nataraj said that body deformity and breathing is a real challenge for children like her, however, she was a natural.
“Teju could effortlessly hold breathing for 20 seconds. This motivated me to see if she can manage floating. To everyone’s surprise, she managed back floating by concentrating and bringing her breathing under control. She’s a natural considering how difficult it is generally for others to pull off something like this,”said Nataraj.
As Tejasvi can now sit by herself and even stand with some help, acqu therapist Nataraj says he is training her to walk in the near future and achieve many records in due course.