She has so much spirit, so much life in her, but she spends all day, every day, sitting on her bed, doing nothing at all. Dallu, who’s 28, lost her sight after contracting smallpox at the age of seven. She lives with her father and other family members – but because they worry about her getting hurt, she rarely goes out.
“Because of my blindness, when I move around even inside the house sometimes I fall or hit the wall,” she explains. She tells us she only goes out “a couple of times a year”.
Although she’s married, Dallu doesn’t see her husband. Her mother used to look after her, but died two years ago. Since then, if Dallu has any problems, her family members say they should send her to her in-laws’ house.
She’d love to be able to do things for herself, like filling a bucket of water to take a shower, but says her family have to do it for her. She has no independence, and it’s devastating to see how resigned she is to her situation. She says: “I can’t do anything and I don’t want to do anything. If you put the cot there and tell me to sit there, I will do it.”
Dallu deserves more than this out of life. But she’s stuck inside as the weeks, months and years pass by, solely because of a misguided belief held by her family, her community, and even herself, that she doesn’t have the ability or potential to achieve anything more.
“I want to be happy and see my family happy – who doesn’t want that? – but I don’t think it will be like that,” she says. “I’d like to go out and be in the community, but I just feel like it can’t happen.”