She is Ankita Naidu, 24 of Chhindwara in Madhya Pradesh.
Ankita measures just 3 feet in all, horizontally. For she remains laid down all the time. She can’t stand on her small delicate legs. Nor can she sit up. But that hasn’t prevented her from scaling peaks of her academic career!
Ankita has just completed her BCA and is now resolute to complete her MBA.
Ankita was born with a rare disease called Osteogenesis imperfecta, also known as brittle bone disease or Lobstein syndrome. It occurs one in every 20,000 live births. Studies show there is no cure yet for such a physically challenging condition. At best medical fraternity can enhance overall bone strength in her body to safeguard frequent fractures.
Osteogenesis is a congenital bone disorder characterized by brittle bones that are prone to crack up easily. And Ankita as such has suffered hundreds of fractures in her life. Her maintenance therapy is aimed at keeping her overall mobility in tact. In such cases, mostly one sees either frequent surgeries or intense physio therapy or other such physical aids that support patient’s agility. And these are expensive too. And not always available in that small hamlet of a town called Chhindwara.
But these occurrences have not dissuaded the gritty girl from pursuing her chosen goals of life. Nor has it bothered Satya Narayan Naidu, her doting father, who works in the Chhindwara branch of a small Spice company of Nagpur. Nor to her mother, Sharada Narayan, who works as teacher in a small private school.
Ankita is attracted to books. Self-learning through books or internet is what keeps her occupied, even as she firmly puts her differently challenged status out of her thought process.
Notwithstanding her challenging conditions, Ankita keeps herself wrapped up in positive energies all the times, focused just on her life’s goals. Even her parents or people around her get enlivened up by her talks. She brings in so much of value in her deliberations which amazes her audience.
As Narendra Modi prefers to call such people as ‘Divyang’ – people celestially blessed with extra ordinary abilities and strong mental faculties, Ankita too has such potentials.
Anki as she likes to call herself, has active social media presence. She has two Facebook accounts and she occasionally updates them:
Ankita’s parents have extended their only child, Ankita, not just their unwavering and resolute love all through her life, but have also crisscrossed the distance to ensure she completes her schooling, the first step to formal education.
While the nation has just woken up to ‘Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao’ call of our current Prime Minister, but it was 24 years ago that Satya Narayan and Sharada resolved that they would pool in all their resources –limited as they are even now—in providing Ankita a normal life and prepare her to ‘stand up [a flawed metaphor to describe her condition] on her legs’ when they would not be around.
They were the ones who gave Ankita the first lesson and confidence to feel normal and pursue cherished line of education. There was no formal schooling for her as her fragile and brittle bones wouldn’t allow her frequent outings. So the parents despite their scant resources, arranged tutors at home. Brilliant that Ankita was in her schooling days, she passed her 12th standard with 70% marks!
Post her schooling she desired to do BCA, as she was drawn to computers from early stages of lie. Her parents made all the arrangements. Laid up on her bed, Ankita learnt all the niceties of computer applications. Their parents made all such arrangements in her bed so that she doesn’t find computer education too strenuous.
She wrote all her papers in lying down postures, as she neither could sit up nor can her fragile legs could carry her small pack. Making light of her conditions, she says that she is immensely blessed that she could remain child-like forever, adding that even at her age of 24 years, her parents fondly take her into their laps, make her rest on their shoulders. A privilege, she says, no enjoys! Smart girl.
Satya Narayan had carried Ankita on his shoulders at different times to numerous examination centers throughout her academic life. While she gave her papers confidently at those examination halls, a nervous dad stood outside fearing that nothing should deter her from finishing the papers. For, her bones were so fragile that that even when she pulled the cap off her fountain pen, her brittle bones would crack up!
Now that BCA is behind her, Ankita is eager to complete her Masters in Business Administration. And sure enough, Ankita would even do that too. She has recently appeared for numerous bak examinations.
Decades ago during my numerous visits to my in-laws place in Gondia [in Vidarbha] where Ankita also came on holidays to stay with her grandparents in the neighborhood, I had met this small bundle of joy. She was just a kid and I found her naughty and talkative like any other kids around us.
I post this note, so that Ankita’s strong-willed and positive fight with the life reaches wider audiences in India and beyond, so that Girls can draw inspiration from her life. While she is the ideal example to brave, resolute & gritty Girl child, her parents Sattu and Sharada are the ideal Brand Ambassador to Narendra Modi’s Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao mission.