Well-wishers crowdfund essential surgery for young Bengaluru achiever

: Eighteen-year-old Bhavya Kumar, who was born with a physical deformity in her leg, never let her disability hold her back no matter what she did, whether public speaking, academics or a game of chess. She recently qualified for a State-level chess competition from her university and was among two students selected from India for the Tony Robbins Global Youth Leadership Summit organised by the Anthony Robbins Foundation in California, USA. She cleared several rounds of interviews for it but, unfortunately, could not get her passport on time to make the trip.

The First Year B.Com student, who walks with a limp, came to know two years back that she suffers from scoliosis (a curvature of the spine) and needed surgery to correct the condition, or risked losing complete functioning of her legs in a few years. "Bhavya was born with a disability and was operated upon several times when she was five years old," said her mother Manjula K., who works as housekeeping staff in an office in Koramangala. Bhavya's father passed away eight years ago.

However, the family found it difficult to raise the Rs. 5 lakh needed for the operation. It was at this time that Manjula met IDEX Fellow and social entrepreneur Saheba Arora. Moved by Bhavya's story, she and her co-fellows offered to raise funds for the surgery.

Surgery enabled

"We created a fundraising link on crowdfunding platform Milaap and within 24 hours, managed to raise Rs. 1 lakh for the operation," said Ms. Arora. Bhavya successfully underwent the surgery on Wednesday and has been transferred from the ICU to the ward.

Dr. Thomas Kishen, spine surgeon at Manipal Hospitals, who is treating Bhavya, said, "Along with scoliosis, she had a problem in her spinal cord which, over time, could weaken her legs. A surgery was needed to prevent this." He added that the surgery was successful and they were waiting to see how she fared over the coming days.

The family is still trying to meet the remaining expenses for the surgery. Bhavya's elder brother is also in college and another sister joined the workforce recently.

Bhavya, who was taught chess by volunteers while in school, has played in many district level competitions. "My daughter has always been the best in whatever she did. She even got a double promotion from Class 4 to 6," says Ms. Manjula, adding, "Put her before a mike and she can give a super speech for an hour and more." Bhavya plans to study for a Masters in Business Administration and join a corporate firm.

"It is only after 45 days, when she walks, that we will be able to know the outcome of the surgery," says Ms. Manjula. "The doctors have said that if this surgery goes well, it may be possible to fix her limp as well."

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Printable version | Jul 10, 2020 3:19:38 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/Well-wishers-crowdfund-essential-surgery-for-young-Bengaluru-achiever/article16744853.ece

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