I wasn’t born with Vitiligo. It developed when I was 9 years old. The patch was very noticeable so my mother was terrified and immediately took me to a doctor and started the treatment.
My skin changed dramatically. Growing up, I was called ‘Spotty’, ‘Dalmatian’ by my friends. Some elderly people around even said ‘ Ye pichle Janam ke paap hai’. Just Imagine a 9 year old boy was bashed about something, he didn’t have control over. I was stared upon everywhere I went and was made fun of. I was looked at with disgust which made me vulnerable.
I was a swimmer during my school days. One day the swim coach didn’t let me enter the pool and told me to bring an approval letter from the doctor. I don’t think one could feel any worse than that at such young age. People don’t realize the kind of impact on a vitiligo person who is already dealing with trauma.
Over a period of 20 years, I have witnessed my skin transformed from brown to white, Small freckled dots to large white patches. Vitiligo has affected my skin but the unfeigned reality is I still live a normal life.
Vitiligo is a lonely journey. Your friends and family will always care for you but they will never understand what you have actually faced.
Dealing with Vitiligo and people certainly taught me a lot about life.
It made me so mature and wiser that I have a different mindset altogether. I have created my own identity through my skills. Being an entrepreneur and a traveler, I have also stepped up to educate people about the skin condition and in order to do that I have created a page on Instagram @vitiligoIndia- to “showcase vitiligo patients from all over the world and let them embrace what they have”.
You have to keep growing as a person and see what you are capable of. Achievements bring happiness. So either keep crying or go out there and do the best you can.
People ask me all the time, how do you have the confidence to take on the world when they are trying to overpower you? And I say I am proud of who I am. I just have one life, it has given me a unique challenge and I will embrace it.
Written by – Raavya Sarda