My Purpose Is To Bring Joy To Kids with Cancer: Nikita Padora, Nargis Dutt Foundation
There are a lot of people doing good in the world. Philanthropists are the people who keep the world in check. If we were all greedy and didn’t care about each other, well, the world would have ended a long time ago. Everyone needs to do their part to help our society.
We recently spoke to Nikita Padora, and inspiring lady who has been helping little children who are fighting cancer. She has been working with the Nargis Dutt Foundation for the last two years now, where she is the trustee. She also helps with the education of meritorious students from poor families.
Nikita says that she feels a sense of purpose when she is able to bring joy into the lives of children who are suffering from cancer.
Nikita is Kashmiri, but was born and raised in Mumbai. She spent 16 years in the US working with a Kashmiri handicraft business that helps artisans in Kashmir sustain their livelihood. Two years ago, she returned to India and wanted to do something substantial, and something that would make an impact. She tells us, “I had always wanted to do something to help those in need. I got to know about the Nargis Dutt Foundation and was inspired and felt I might be able to contribute with my time and effort in helping the organisation. While volunteering, I saw many instances where even small interventions created much joy in the lives of the children and families fighting cancer.”
Nikita says that she feels a sense of purpose when she is able to bring joy into the lives of children who are suffering from cancer. It is a painful to see your loved ones suffering, especially children. A lot of times parents and relatives themselves go into depression or cannot keep a cheerful atmosphere in the face of adversity. They help organise entertainment programs for these kids who are stuck in the hospital, and are just looking to live their lives like normal kids.
“The faith that the families have in me and the love I get from these kids is boundless. The takeaway is that it is small instances of love, care, counselling that can help overcome the sadness in their lives due to their tough journey.”
Nikita shares an incident about a little boy named Anubhab – a 7-year-old when she first met him. He was sad and disappointed about being misdiagnosed in his village when a wound on his leg wasn’t healing eventually he was diagnosed with cancer, and his leg had to be amputated. His father had brought him to Mumbai for treatment with whatever little he had saved. Nikita and her team met Anubhab and started interacting with him.
He was a shy boy, but during his treatment he started opening up told Nikita that he wants to play with his friends in the village rather than being stuck in pain all the time. Once his treatment was over, he recovered and went back to his village, where he is happy now. He even made a card for Nikita, which says “Be a rainbow in someone’s cloud like my Nikita Ma’am”. Nikita says that incidents like these are very close to her heart, “the faith that the families have in me and the love I get from these kids is boundless. The takeaway is that it is small instances of love, care, counselling that can help overcome the sadness in their lives due to their tough journey.”
Nikita has also inspired her own son to help the kids in need. She says, “Throughout my time volunteering for the foundation, I would come home and share stories with Arav, my 12-year-old son about the children who I met and how they persevered through their hard times. He was intrigued by the stories, but didn’t quite know how to help those in need.”
With Nikita’s help, Arav has been talking to people about the causes of cancer, and he also organised a movie day for 100 children affected by cancer. Nikita says that she feels proud that her son is such a caring and sensitive young man.
“I believe in the adage that one needs to find a purpose, and the means will follow. For me, I’m committed to making a difference (however small) in the lives of these kids.”
In the future, Nikita says that she wants to continue working with kids as it is a cause close to her heart. She says that there are a lot of children in villages who do not have access to medical care, and she wants to be able to help them as she believes no child should have to suffer because of lack of funds for treatment. She adds, “we’re looking to collaborate with like-minded people, corporates and NGOs to help make a difference. And finally, I believe in the adage that one needs to find a purpose, and the means will follow. For me, I’m committed to making a difference (however small) in the lives of these kids.”
Pic credits: Nikita Padora