Sometimes, great adversity can change lives and inspire people to better themselves. Sandhya is a 25-year-old who overcame personal tragedy to emerge stronger and inspire others around her with her grit and determination.
To gulp down a bottle of acid isn’t easy—unless there’s an unbearable pain hidden beneath. Shocked? This is the true story of Sandhya, a 25-year-old calm-looking girl from Mamandur, Tamil Nadu.
“My father was a heavy drinker. He forced my elder sister to quit studies, and arranged her marriage with yet another alcoholic person. She refused and protested, but my father never listened. That day, in despair, my sister opened that bottle, and before I could ask what she was up to, she gulped down the liquid inside it. That was the deadliest incident of my life…she fell on the ground. Within minutes, her face turned black.”
“The acid melted her skin and vapourised her blood,” recollects Sandhya.
She added that her sister died right in front of her eyes. Shocked, frightened, and frozen, she could not even hug her for the last time. “Unable to save my only sister whom I loved so much pained me like nothing else ever did. I picked the bottle and drank the remaining acid. It burnt my food pipe and my stomach, but it could not kill me,” adds Sandhya.
When she regained consciousness, she found herself in the arms of Sisters from a nearby convent. They funded the multiple surgeries that she had to undergo. “Life isn’t easy for her. She can’t take solid diet as she still needs to undergo multiple surgeries.”
“I’ve seen her pain, when due to high fever she would want to vomit but could not due to the burnt throat,” shares one of the Sisters.
“Although she gets embarrassed in public due to the scars on her neck, she has fighting spirit. She is trying hard to give meaning and purpose to her life. There are times when she feels dejected, but the fire to live a renewed life keeps on igniting her willpower,” adds another Sister.
Smile Foundation’s community service offered Sandhya the opportunity to enroll for the vocational programme meant for a dignified life for less privileged women.
Today, she is occupied with her passion to create designs on fabric, and also encourages her fellow team-members to fight for the life they deserve.
Sandhya, according to her trainers, is one of the most regular and promising students of the batch. She aspires to open her own boutique one day. “My wounds are healing, but the scar remains for a lifetime. It proves that I have survived and I am stronger,” concludes Sandhya.