I was flipping through the pages of my personal journal of 2005 and I came across a few pages that I had ripped off the Reader’s Digest issue of March 2005. It was an article about an extraordinary girl who fought her illness and went beyond to become an inspiration. Well I googled by habit and found a link that said she has survived 25 years of kidney failure.
Niketa Ghiya is the second person under the label Featured on this blog after Tejaswee Rao. Niketa was diagnosed with Renal Failure at the tender age of 15. She went through renal transplant when both her kidneys failed. The post transplant steroids turned her into an obese 20 year old with hirsutism crushing her self-esteem. She did her graduation but following that it was just managing her health. Her breaking point came when she developed cataracts and was operated at the same time as her grandmother was being operated for cataracts .... she failed to find a reason to live and the next blow was the beginning of failure of her transplanted kidney.
Luckily the medication worked and Niketa was in much better health. Dr. Rajapurkar ,the Director of the hospital where she was getting her dialysis , brought a turning point in her life when he rebuked her “Why is a young ,educated woman like you wasting her life . You are now well enough to do something useful”. Those harsh words made Niketa retaliate but when she learned that Dr. Rajapurkar suffered heart attack at 29 and despite going through several surgeries did not give up on his profession she was determined to change things . Dr. Rajapurkar ‘s words transformed an ailing fragile body into a determined soul.
“Yes living with simple pleasures of life is difficult but I do not believe in being idle and living on sympathy”.
Niketa did not take long to discover her passion and destiny. She had learned Bharatnatayam in her childhood and after her first performance (arangetram) she was diagnosed with renal disease. She took back to dancing , found a teacher who though worried about her health was totally spellbound by her determination. Her first performance was at the Annual Function of Dr. Rajapurkar’s Hospital. Despite the fragility of her body she sailed through. Niketa decided to raise money for poor kidney patients who do not have money for dialysis . She has been doing that for the past 10 years . People have been inspired by her courage , determination and talent. Help poured in from all corners to raise funds and arrange funds for her noble pursuit. The lady of courage refuses to tone down her performance as she does not believe in compromising on it.“I want people to see a proper performance , not a patient “Her spirit to live “a useful life for as long as I live “ has made her survive the disease for 25 years.
The last lines of the article in the magazine quoted the song “Har pal Yahan , jee bhar jiyo ... Jo hai sama Kal ho na ho”. For some reason I had written those lines in my diary in February 2004 and I had found only apt to rip off those pages and stick it adjacent to that page.
Niketa is a true inspiration , someone who does not inspire through preaching but by practicing. She raises funds through dancing her way against adversity but more than that she raises hopes in the eyes of those who are suffering the hell she has conquered. Hats Off to you Niketa... I am inspired.