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Accident amputates her hand, not spirit: Kochi woman becomes lawyer fighting adversities

Saritha Satheeshan

When the going gets tough, only the tough get going. Kochi native Saritha Satheeshan is one such unsung hero who boldly faced the challenges life threw at her one after the other, including a train accident that led to the amputation of a hand, to come up in life.

This 45-year-old woman of Elamkulam in Kochi triumphed over the many obstacles through her dedication, perseverance, and hard work. From a daily wage worker in a teashop to an agent in a courier service, Saritha has been through all the ups and downs in her life to become a lawyer, a profession which she cherishes a lot.

Saritha’s life wasn’t easy growing up in a middle-class family. Her mother had to work as a housekeeper to support her two daughters and make ends meet after her father lost his job in a company. Soon after completing her pre-degree, Saritha had to start working to support her family. She worked multiple jobs including data entry and courier service to stay afloat.

Her life changed in 2001 when she started working as a typist-cum-clerk at Raj Associates, a law firm in Ernakulam. Her burning desire to study more made her join an evening course for BCom.

“The job at the law firm gave me the confidence to become a lawyer. Though I got admission to Government Law College, Kozhikode after passing the entrance exam in 2018, I was unable to go because I could not afford to leave my job. I wrote the entrance exam again the following year and got into Government Law College, Thrissur in 2020,” Saritha told “Open Digest.”

Saritha travelled between Thrissur and Kochi for classes every day and worked at the law firm for the remaining day. “As I could travel everyday for the classes at Thrissur Law College, it was convenient for me to study without quitting the job,” Saritha said.

While life was all going well with studies and a job, tragedy struck her when she was severely injured in an accident on January 13, 2022. She fell off the train in which she was returning to Kochi from Thrissur. She was waiting to alight from the train at South Railway Station when the door from behind suddenly rammed her, throwing her off the train. Saritha suffered a compression fracture in her spine and a head injury. Her left hand below the elbow was amputated in the incident.

The accident totally upended her life as she was bedridden for several months. When things got back to normal with her recovering from the accident and resuming her LLB studies, another tragedy struck her when she lost her father to cancer in May 2022. “It wasn’t easy dealing with the trauma one after the other. But the staff and my seniors at my office stood by me providing support. I am indebted to the care and support from my office,” she said. Overcoming all the trauma, Saritha completed her law degree on time and enrolled as a lawyer on February 18, 2024.

“Life is full of surprises. We don’t know what will come up in the next moment. We need to have a positive outlook. Think about the good things around us and the moments that make us strong and happy. We need to stop dwelling on all our worries as it isn’t going to make us any better. My life has taught me to always look on the brighter side and move forward,” Saritha added.

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