Once in a lifetime there comes a moment which defines you and makes you realize the purpose of your existence. For Aditya Tiwari that moment was when he adopted Avnish, who was rejected by his biological parent because he had Down Syndrome and a hole in his heart.
On 1st January 2016, after a struggle of one and a half year, Aditya from Pune got the legal custody of 22 months old Avnish. In March 2020, on the occasion of Women’s day, besides other women, Aditya was awarded as “Worlds best mommy”. Goes without saying that ever since the adoption, his life has dramatically changed.
Aditya, an IT professional originally, is now a full time counselor, motivating and guiding parents across the country having children with special needs. His son now seven, also accompanies Aditya wherever he goes and it is a big confidence booster for other parents when they see the father son duo.
Down Syndrome is a condition which leads to developmental delays, intellectual disability and distinct facial appearance. But in a Facebook page, where Aditya shared his story, he says that post adoption, the love spell worked its magic and in just three months time it was difficult for anybody to tell difference between Avnish and any of his “normal” friends.
Aditya further adds that his parents were very supportive. With loads of love and care from his grandparents, Avnish has managed to push the symptoms to the backseat. Aditya hopes that it remains the same when Avnish grows up, but deep down he knows that in all probability, it wouldn’t be so. But he adds that he is prepared to deal with it.
The duo has travelled the world sharing their experience. Aditya has held meetings, conferences and workshops at around 400 different locations. Not only this, he has been invited to United Nations too, to share his thoughts about upbringing of children with intellectual disabilities. He has also spoken at the World Economic Forum, in Geneva.
After adopting Avnish, Aditya realised that the Government did not give disability certificate to children who are intellectually disabled, which prompted him to raise an online petition. His efforts finally led to the Government creating a separate category for intellectually disabled children and issue them disability certificate too.
That is indeed a very inspiring journey. In a society where adoption itself comes with its set of prejudices and most roles have very gender specific labels, Aditya, a single father, is breaking stereotypes at so many levels.
According to him, parenting is a gender neutral role. He has never tried to get into a character of a mother or a father, rather he has always tried to be a good parent and a good human being. No doubt, the world needs many more strong minded people like him.
Signing off now, stay tuned for similar information about events, which gives us hope of a better world for our future generations. See you all in our next episode.