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Times of India
7 January 2009
By Radha Sharma
Ahmedabad, India

Paralysed Girl Starts Walking on finding Love
Happy together: Jayesh and Jyoti Happy together: Jayesh and Jyoti
The euphoria of love makes people fly. It made a girl walk, after being completely paralysed waist down in the 2001 Kutch earthquake and told by doctors she would remain confined to bed for the rest of her life!

Jyoti has been lucky. In her own words, love has breathed life into her dead feet. “There was a time when I did not even want to get my legs operated. What was the point? And then, Jayesh proposed to me and it was as if I wanted to run and fly with joy,” says Jyoti who has taken a pledge never to cry, ever again.

A resident of Sukhpar near Bhuj, Jyoti was crushed under a wall of her house on January 26, 2001 – the dreadful day when the earthquake killed nearly 10,000 in Gujarat.

Her cries had filled the hospital when the operating surgeon at Mandvi hospital pronounced she would never be able to walk again. One person proved the doctor wrong. As a kid, Jayesh used to play with Jyoti when he used to visit his aunt’s house in Sukhpar. Distressed on hearing about Jyoti, he used to visit her regularly at Mandvi hospital which was close to his home.

Jyoti got discharged and she found her dreams falling apart as a cripple. Jayesh’s letters kept coming, keeping her hopes alive. Doctors at a rehabilitation centre for victims tried on her a spine belt and callipers to help her sit for a few minutes.

She dared not stand though. Years dragged on and Jyoti would sit and read as she pursued her schooling through class X, enjoying letters written by Jayesh. It was after he got trained as a computer operator and tailor that he made the decisive move.

“I proposed to her two years ago. She was destined to be mine, in whatever condition she was physically,” says Jayesh, 24. Jyoti resisted first, saying she would only ruin his life with her disability. But when she didn’t see Jayesh backing out, she was convinced it was true love and not an act out of pity.

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