Nincy Mariam Mondly was living her dream to study the human body and its functioning. But in 2014, a year into her paramedical course, she herself was being studied and operated under surgical lights. After she fell from a height, a spinal cord injury caused paraplegia, which confined her to a hospital for almost a whole year and continues to make her a wheelchair user for seven years now.
“What the fall did to my life was both traumatic and transformative,” says this 26-year-old from Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. She gained confidence through the strong support of her loving family and friends, and the belief that God worked through people and situations for her good. What also helped her cope was her love of painting, which has become more a companion than a mere hobby.
When she returned home she found that her father had got a ramp and interlocking tiles made in front of the house and her mother had creatively altered the interiors so that she could freely use her wheelchair. However, connecting to the world outside did pose challenges. She had to opt for distance education to complete her degree in Psychology and pursue her Masters in Counselling and Family Therapy. Studying psychology has helped her deal with her emotions and realise the power of the mind. She says, “If your mind is strong it can lift up your body too.”
Nincy has been regularly participating in annual art events organised by Pallium India to create awareness about the needs of wheelchair users and work towards making the state capital barrier-free. The Freedom Art Exhibition 2016 was the first platform she got to “showcase my ability and not my disability”. Her paintings reflect her intimate feelings and emotions. She explains: “My art speaks not just for me but to me also.”
From January 2021 Nincy has been working at Bloombloom, a “university for collaborative education” that provides a space for children aged 6-18 to discover their interests. Growing into an entrepreneurial role, she aspires to form her own batch of students and run the educational programme designed by Bloombloom.
Nincy loves “mom-made” food, although she lost her sense of smell and flavour after the accident. The time she spends with her family brings great joy and laughter to her life. “Everything I am today I owe to God who has put me amidst so much love.”