Sakshi, the teenager who fought when the walls around her crumbled – #WATWB
Sakshi was a bubbly young teenager, just nineteen years old when fate struck a cruel blow. Her eyesight was slowly beginning to dwindle. Initially, she did not realise the seriousness of her condition. Her private ophthalmologist could not figure out what was the problem with her eyes. She was sent to AIIMS. Five days passed. A million tests were conducted on the teen right from MRIs, X-Rays to CT-scans, but there was no diagnosis, no specific term for the condition.
This is what Sakshi said in an interview, “Despite how serious everyone around me was, I was still a bubbly naive teenager, optimistic to a fault. It had been my first hospital experience, and as weird as it may seem now, I was quite enjoying the attention. I was tripping and falling because I couldn’t see anything clearly, but I was sure the top doctors could fix it, and I would go on with my life.”
But by the tenth day when she had lost nearly 70% of her vision, the doctor spoke to her father and this is what he had to say after he handed over her discharge papers, “These are the medications that she will have to follow with routine monthly checkups. You can take her home.”
And Sakshi’s naive and bubbly world full of happiness was finally shattered.
Summing up her feelings in her own words, “I cried my eyes out for three hours. It seemed like my life had ended. I rewound every small incident in my head, just trying to find an explanation to why it happened to me. When I walked out, I knew my parents had cried too, from their puffy eyes. They felt so helpless, finding me in pain, but there was nothing they could have done. I had to put on a brave face if not for me, at least for them.”
And that is when this brave young teenager put her best foot forward. She decided to help the helpless. Today, Sakshi is a social entrepreneur and co-founder of Bucket List, a city-based NGO that has impacted the lives of more than 2000 kids in the last three years. From fulfilling wishes on their bucket list to empowering them through education, sports and arts, the NGO that the now 27-year-old runs with Rida Ali, a social worker and her best friend of 13 years, is changing the lives of underprivileged kids in Delhi and Fatehpur.