Lathisha Ansari has once again shown the world that she is the captain of her fate. She took the first steps to materialise her long cherished dream of becoming a Civil Service Officer by attempting the prelims examination at Thiruvananthapuram last week. Unlike other aspirants, Lathisha entered the hall with an oxygen cylinder along with her writing equipment. Lathisha, the wheelchair bound candidate is suffering from ‘Osteogenesis Imperfecta,’ a rare condition that turns the bones brittle. She also suffers from pulmonary hypertension that affects breathing. Till now she is said to have suffered 400 fractures. Ansari, Lathisha's father, who accompanied her to the examination hall, connected the oxygen cylinder for her inside the hall for without it she would not be able to breathe properly.
‘The paper was easy and I hope and pray that I clear it,’ says a hopeful Lathisha who is competing in the general category. ‘I am determined to crack these examination because that would inspire many others like me to do it too.’ The 25- year- old has climbed the steps of her life so far with the strength of unparalleled self-confidence. She has completed her M.Com degree. Not confining herself to bed, Lathisha has been moving around in a wheelchair and has conquered new heights by acquiring various skills like learning to play the keyboard. She completed her school and college examinations without depending on a scribe, which is usually granted to physically disabled students. Hearing of Lathisha’s condition, a Malayali doctor in Canada donated an automatic wheelchair to her.
Her father who runs a hotel in Erumely, Kottayam district, has always stood behind her in full support to help her fulfil her dreams. Her medical expenses cost the family around Rs 25,000 a month but they manage by taking loans from friends and well wishers. Ansari had approached the state government, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Kottayam district collector P K Sudheer Babu for special sanction for using an oxygen cylinder in the examination hall. The collector said that the district administration has taken all the necessary steps in order to provide her equipment with portable gas cylinders which would be easier to handle and carry around. Lathisha and family have got support from Latha Nair of Amritavarshini Society which reaches out to help children who have such medical problems.