Meghna- I have a teenage son but my first child will always be my brother

 “We’re 4 siblings and amongst us, Ritesh and I are the closest as our sisters got married when we were still quite young. Before marriage, we used to watch late-night movies together, played our favorite songs and gossiped a lot.

The day I got married was by far the most emotional day of my life. As I spent so much time with Ritesh, both of us were so sentimental when I had to leave the city. I didn’t want to leave my brother, my home- to get married. It took us a lot of time to get back to our lives. But not a day passed without talking to each other. I used to visit my brother every month.

I have seen Ritesh growing up with Down Syndrome. He has struggled a lot. He was bullied by children, even our relatives treated him differently at the parties but I made a promise to myself to always protect him.

During his teenage years, people would ask, ‘Why is he like this?’ They stared at him, watched every move he made and sometimes, I hated how they treated him so wrongly. I used to be so worried that the things they said about him could affect his self-esteem.

Ritesh is the kindest and the most loving person you will come across. He wants nothing but love. Today he’s 38 but there are still people in our lives who treat him differently, bully him and talk to him in a strange way.

He is no different to any of us, and his disability is not who he is. There’s a lot more to him than the ‘extra chromosome’. Today, I have a teenage son but my first child will always be my brother.”

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