A 20-year-old girl who dances with one leg because she lost the other to cancer participated in a fundraiser for children with cancer.
Anjali Roy was diagnosed with bone cancer 10 years back. Despite the amputation of her left leg, she resumed dancing a few years later and is now an accomplished performer.
Anjali performed in an online fund-raising concert which had participants from the US, UK and India. The concert, held in December, raised Rs 10 lakh, which has been given to the Saroj Gupta Cancer Centre & Research Institute.
The concert is an initiative of the family of Sudeshna Dasgupta Ghosh, who died in 2013 after battling cancer for three years. Her husband and son, who live in the US, formed a trust called Sudeshna Beacon of Hope (SBOH) in 2016, which has been organising concerts for the last seven years to raise funds for children battling cancer.
“It makes me feel happy that people across the world are donating money for the treatment of children after seeing my dance recital,” said Anjali, who will write her higher secondary exams this year.
Back in 2013, Anjali, then 10 years old, was not ready for the surgery that would leave her without her left leg because she wanted to be a dancer.
“I have been dancing since I was six. After the operation, I started dancing again in 2015, not sure whether I would be able to continue it,” said the resident of Sonarpur.
She uses a prosthetic limb while walking, but not when she is dancing. “It is heavy and it would weigh me down. So I dance with one leg,” she said.
Suvasish Ghosh, Sudeshna’s husband, told The Telegraph from Virginia that they try to include cancer survivors in their concert each year.
“Lot of people who donate want to know whether their money is going to the right place or not. When they see a survivor perform and lead a life despite the disease, it tells a story and helps the cause,” said Ghosh, an engineer.
Arnab Gupta, director of the Saroj Gupta Cancer Centre & Research Institute, said the donation would help many more children complete their treatment.
“There are families who find it difficult to continue the treatment of their children. Even if they manage the initial expenses with subsidies, medicines are expensive. Such donation helps the hospital support the children and their families for the treatment,” said Gupta.
“Despite their financial challenges, we do not refuse any child because most of them get cured with treatment.”
The concert in December had professional singers, including Hricha Debraj.
Shohan Ghosh, Sudeshna’s son, sang “Ain’t No Sunshine” for the concert.
“It is the seventh concert in seven years. Seeing the impact it creates on the lives of children, we manage to do it every year. We are thankful to the participants who put in so much effort and time for it,” said Suvasish.