Sanika was born with a major discoloration and hair growth on the skin around her right eye. The financial condition of her family was not good and her mother believed that her birthmark was an indication of a curse by evil spirits and she took Sanika to an array of weird Sadhus and God-men to free her of it.
When Sanika was about 8, a Sadhu advised her mother to leave Sanika, who unsurprisingly had by then developed an inferiority complex about her appearance and had lost confidence around others, at an orphanage. Taking the advice of the Sadhu, Sanika’s mother started looking for a suitable institution, however they all refused to take her because of the birthmark. Fortunately, she met our founder Girish who immediately agreed to give Sanika a home at Snehalaya.
This was in 2004 and she was soon proving popular among her hostel mates and became a model student at school. As she focused on her studies, working hard and gradually gaining confidence, she started taking part in all of the extracurricular activities available and an operation on her birthmark by Dr Ajit Kale, a renowned plastic surgeon in Ahmednagar, proved successful leaving only a smaller surgical scar behind.
Sanika secured good marks in her 10th standard exams and took up commerce. It was then that she met Navneet Bhateja, a chartered accountant and supporter of Snehalaya, who is providing study guidance to Sanika and two of her Snehalaya classmates. His patience and perseverance is bringing great results and Sanika’s studies and English conversation skills continue to improve and she will soon take her final year degree exam after which she plans to become a bank officer.