Indien: Krishna Kumar

Krishna treated her disabled children, and those of others, as she would any other youngsters, and drew as much strength and sustenance from them as she gave them.

— Krishna Kumar

Krishna Kumar (born 1944) has two daughters with cerebral palsy and understands the anxieties of parents with disabled children. In 1987, she formed the Handicapped Children's Parents Association (HCPA), which now has a home for disabled persons, the only one in India accessible to individuals with severe or multiple disabilities. Krishna's zeal, mettle, and calm are sources of strength for the many who come into contact with her.

Krishna Kumar was staggered when her two daughters were diagnosed with cerebral palsy. She initially found it almost impossible to cope with caring for them, handling household activities, continuing with her teaching career, and coping with her husband's family blame for having borne two children with disabilities. She had to stand up to her in-laws to provide her children with education and requisite training. Realizing that the parents of other disabled children must be sharing her trauma, in 1987 she formed the HCPA with seven other similarly affected parents. Krishna is the foot soldier of the organization, a position within it being singularly unimportant. She actively organized meetings and raised funds for its activities. Today, the HCPA has a home for disabled persons who have no caregivers: Sneh Kunj is the only one of its kind in India, providing a space for people with multiple and severe disabilities. Krishna was also instrumental in setting up Udaan (flight), a school for disabled children, of which she is a trustee-member. Krishna's motivation and passion involves her in those areas that compel immediate attention: she helps with the education of children from the weaker sections of society, provides counseling in legal matters, bails out family emergencies, and even facilitates the transfer of parents with disabled children to places with better facilities for their children. Her maturity, calm, acceptance, and courage in the face of a unique responsibility are a source of great fortitude for the many that come into contact with her.

Handicapped Children's Parents Association (HCPA) Udaan