Polio blighted his childhood but Salmonraju defied the odds to transform his life
Salmonraju contracted polio as a boy, losing leg power until he could not stand. His father worked as a rickshaw driver and had four other children to support. With one precarious income between them, Salmonraju’s parents appealed to the Light of Love Children’s Home for help. He entered the Home aged 9.
In 2005, SLA supporters raised funds for corrective surgery on Salmonraju’s legs to help him walk again. This meant Salmonraju travelling to Mumbai with SLA founder Gillie Davidson, where he was operated on by a renowned surgeon.
This was daunting for such a young boy and made even more frightening by the floods in Mumbai that summer: the water nearly reached Salmonraju’s room on the second floor! The operation was a success and Salmonraju braved the excruciating pain with incredible spirit. With intensive physiotherapy from SLA volunteers and LLCH medical staff, and his own extraordinary determination, Salmonraju was walking within six months.
He went from strength to strength, completed school and was one of the first LLCH children to get professionally qualified, gaining a Diploma from the School of Audio Engineering (SAE) College, Chennai. Even more impressively, Salmonraju then moved to Hyderabad to look for work, landing a job as an audio engineer in a TV and film studio.
He has since paid for a new home for his parents, married a former classmate and they have a young daughter.
An inspiration to us all, Salmonraju has shown that children born into terrible disadvantage can transform their lives through their own bravery and the love and support of others.