My Story: I Feel Ashamed That Even In 21st Century I Suffered Of Social Boycott Due To Vitiligo
The Logical Indian Crew Gujarat
May 17th, 2018 / 8:45 AM
“I was eight years old when while returning back from school I fell down from the auto rickshaw and got a white scar on my forehead. Usually such kind of white scar would have been healed within two weeks. However, it didn’t so my parents consulted our family doctor and he advised us to consult a Dermatologist. Soon, we visited one of the famous Dermatologist in the city and started treatment under his guidance but the treatment backfired. Instead of healing that white scar, reactions started happening in other parts of the body. Doctor said that have patience and have belief in my treatment, within two months healing will start but somehow there wasn’t any recovery.
Later we consulted other Doctors in the city as well as outside the city and tried all kinds of treatments whether its Ayurveda or homeopathy but instead of decreasing, white marks kept on increasing in the other parts of the body and as a small girl it was very difficult to deal with such a problem. After many consultations one Dermatologist told us that I have Vitiligo which had occurred due to the adverse drug reaction of different allopathic medicines. Vitiligo is a long-term skin condition characterized by patches of the skin losing their pigment. Meanwhile as a child I still remember the incident, when I went in my colony to play with friends, one of the girl among group told that they won’t play with me as I have white spots. This disease is contagious so they may get this disease if they play with me. Even in school few girls told me the same thing so I stared getting depressed and felt like a left out. I became very lonely and my self-esteem reduced drastically and I lost confidence in myself. As I grew up people started asking me questions like, when it happened? why it is still not cured? who will marry me if this forehead mark will not have healed? In which body parts do I have white spots? and so on. So, with time I started avoiding to go out and stopped attending social functions as I always had a fear that people will ask me about the white spots.
Our Indian society is somehow funny where everything about a girl gets connected to her marriage. Everyone had one worry that who will marry me? Finally, I was fed up with everything so I stopped all treatments altogether. After completing my graduation, I was aimless in life and didn’t knew what to do next but somehow, I got a job and did it for few years to keep myself busy. Meanwhile my parents were also finding a suitable partner for me but nothing went right. Everyone would have the same question and no one would get ready to marry a girl with a Vitiligo. For quite some time I kept on seeing suitable life partners but after lots of rejections and disagreements, I decided that why do I need someone else to make me happy. I believe that companionship is important but you don’t need anyone else to complete you. It is better to be alone than being with a wrong partner who doesn’t understands you. I started thinking in developing myself as a person and began focusing more on career goals rather than relationship goals. With the help of family, friends and three big pillars of my life whom I would not like to name here.
I changed my job and joined a job in a hospital and simultaneously I started learning English language and also completed my Post Graduate Diploma in Hospital and Healthcare Management and since then I have worked in almost all the big hospitals of the city and have worked with many doctors. Later, I also completed my MBA and today I hold a position of Administration Manager in a Corporate firm and have bought a house and a car of my own. My journey has taught me that nothing is more important than being independent and the ultimate aim of life is not marriage. The aim of life is to improve yourself, work on your goals and break them and make new set of goals.
First and foremost, Vitiligo isn’t a contagious disease. Secondly, I have seen women developing low self-esteem, low confidence and are isolated due to Vitiligo. We always talk about inner beauty. However, with my experiences in life I want to tell you that in real world inner beauty doesn’t exist. It’s all about your physical appearance and outer beauty. It makes me realize that as a society we have failed. We are in 21st century and still we are unable to accept such issues. I feel ashamed to be part of such a society in which a girl having Vitiligo has to justify herself of having discoloration of skin.”
– Nieyati Shah
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