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Indian Ambassador to the UAE Sunjay Sudhir and church officials present the Unsung Hero Award to Kanmony S in Dubai. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: She was born without hands. And yet she beats all odds by using her deformed legs, excels in arts, crafts and music and has bagged the first rank in her graduation course in music.

Meet Kanmony S from the south Indian state of Kerala, who recently also won an Unsung Hero Award from a Dubai church.

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Kanmony was born without hands but that has not stopped her from reaching for the stars. Image Credit: Supplied

St. Thomas Orthodox Cathedral in Dubai chose Kanmony for the award instituted in memory of Baselios Marthoma Didymus, a former primate of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church who championed the cause of education.

Kanmony was selected for the award for spreading a positive message to the community by securing the first rank in BA Music from the University of Kerala and by excelling in arts, crafts and music in spite of her physical challenges, said vicar Fr Binish Babu. As usual, Kanmony had appeared for all her written exams without the help a scribe.

“She is a great role model and inspiration to the society when many people are not happy with what they have. There is a lot to learn from her as she has proved that you can beat any disability with perseverance and dedication,” said Fr Babu.

Award ceremony

Indian Ambassador to the UAE Sunjay Sudhir presented the award to Kanmony at the annual Harvest Festival of the church on Sunday evening.

Former minister and Leader of the Opposition in Kerala’s State Assembly, Ramesh Chennithala, and prominent Indian business leader and vice-chairman of Non-Resident Keralites Affairs Department (Norka-Roots) MA Yusuff Ali, chairman, Lulu Group, also honoured her at the glittering ceremony.

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An artwork made by Kanmony was gifted to Indian businessman Yousuf Ali of the Lulu Group. Image Credit: Supplied

Kanmony won the hearts of the audience with a soulful song and by presenting two nettipattam (elephant caparisons, the decorative head cover used on elephants in Kerala’s festivals) to the Ambassador and Yusuff Ali.

Special achievements

Though she was born without arms, Kanmony wanted to lead a life on her own terms. Her parents, especially her mother Rekha Sasikumar, wanted her to live an independent life and managed to get her enrolled in a regular school with a lot of difficulties.

Kanmony started writing and drawing using her deformed toes and had a keen interest in music since her childhood. She learnt the intricate method of making the elephant caparison during the COVID-19 lockdown. She has won many accolades for her special achievements earlier.

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Kanmony with her parents and brother Image Credit: Supplied

Full of zest and all smiles, Kanmony said she was never sad about not having hands or not being able to live like others.

“We need to be happy with what we have and we need to use our maximum potential to excel in everything that we can,” said Kanmony, who uses a mobile and computer with her toes.

A big fan of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, Kanmony had drawn his portrait six years ago when she had visited Dubai to attend a community event.

“People in the UAE have shown a lot of love to me. I am really grateful to them and I will always be indebted to the church officials for selecting me for this award,” she said.

She also appreciated the way the UAE supports people of determination.