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Fighting Stigma, He Wrote His Own Success

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The Hindu
17 November 2010
Bangalore, India

Mr. JanardhanMr. Janardhan
His story is an inspiration to those who suffer from epilepsy. A calligrapher of international repute, he was born with epilepsy and managed to battle all odds to live a full life.

Speaking to The Hindu, on the eve of National Epilepsy Day (November 17), K.C. Janardhan says that though born with the condition, he emerged a successful man. "Constant medication cured my condition. I want to tell my story to everyone who is affected with epilepsy. I want to tell them to not shy away but come out in the open and get themselves treated," says Mr. Janardhan, who is Executive Committee Member of the Indian Epilepsy Association, Bangalore Chapter. He implores people to fight the stigma that is often attached to this condition.

Mr. Janardhan, also a well known handwriting researcher, trainer, document examiner and graphologist, recently represented India at the eighth Asian Oceania Congress held recently in Melbourne. He spoke on ‘Winning with Epilepsy and Calligraphy' at the Epilepsy and Society Programme.

He was born with hot water epilepsy and was cured after he underwent medication for 20 long years. More than the condition, it was the social stigma he faced that made him a rebel and gave him the strength to fight prejudices.

"When I was diagnosed with it at the age of seven, I was asked to go to NIMHANS, which at that time was known as the Mental Hospital. I had to visit it every three months for regular checkups. My relatives termed me mad and shunned me." To cope, he channelised his pain to develop talents such as mimicry, sculpturing, storytelling, painting and public speaking. "This eventually drew their attention away from my condition."

Social stigma
"The strong social stigma associated with the condition prevents people even discussing it in public.
I'm trying to motivate people to get themselves treated and lead a normal life," Mr. Janardhan said.
"A good neurologist will help because 80 per cent of the time, the condition is curable."
He can be contacted on kcjanardhan555@gmail.com

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