Wandered… Wondered… Wonderful: That’s What Bindu Kisku Says about Her Life

5-year-old Bindu didn’t know why she, with her mother and 6-month-old sister, was living on the streets and eating what passers-by would give them. That was way back in 1975. She remembered living a happy life with her parents and siblings in their small, but comfortable house. The rest were hazy images parading before her eyes making her shudder every time they appeared.

Her family – parents, a brother, and a sister – had all they needed for a comfortable life, and lived in their small village, in Chandag, Uttarakhand. Their life took a turn for the worst in 1975 when Bindu’s father and brother died over a week. It was more than what her mother could take and her mental health failed. One day, she took the 5-year-old Bindu and her 6-month-old sister and left the house. A neighbour who saw them wandering around took them to TLM Chandag Hospital (the hospital was closed in 2008) and requested the superintendent of the hospital, Dr David to give them shelter. At the hospital, Bindu and her family were taken care of in every way.

Dr David sent Bindu to Wellesley Bailey School, run by TLM Faizabad Hospital, in Uttar Pradesh, for children affected by leprosy, as they were not admitted in other schools. Bindu started her education there, living in the school hostel. However, during that time she was diagnosed with leprosy (Bindu hails from a leprosy-endemic village); and along with her studies, she underwent treatment for leprosy.

By the time she completed her education, Yusuf Kisku, who was her senior at the school, was working in TLM Faizabad Hospital as a shoe technician. They got married with the blessings of her mother and the staff of TLM Faizabad Hospital. After a few years, TLM appointed Bindu as a ward aid in the hospital. Yusuf and Bindu are blessed with two daughters – both trained as nurses and living with their families.

Bindu’s life is full of interesting twists and turns. The girl, who once wandered on the streets of Chandag, with a mentally disturbed mother and a 6-month-old sister, moves around in the in-patient ward at TLM Faizabad Hospital, counselling many, with determination writ large on her face. The journey of this 48-year-old woman is an inspiration to many leprosy patients who visit the hospital. She tells about the journey of her life in three words, “Wandered… wondered… wonderful.”

On this International Women’s Day, we salute the determination of this beautiful soul, who has only one mission in life – to “bring a smile on the face of leprosy patients who visit the hospital in a hopeless condition.”