Kolkata: Toppers are not always those who score the highest marks. Sometimes even those who score a little less than 80 per cent can take away the limelight from top scorer. Behala’s 18-year-old Sougata Bakshi is one such hero.
For Bakshi, unlike other teens, is wheelchair bound and needs the oxygen cylinder by his side 24×7 to survive. He gasps for air every time he completes a sentence, but that doesn’t seem to have taken away his zeal to excel in life.
Born in a Bengali middle-class family, that resides in Behala Sarsuna area of Kolkata, Bakshi was diagnosed with Familial Pulmonary fibrosis, a rare lung disorder, characterised by the formation of excessive scar tissues in the lung, in 2011. The very next year, his father Siddhartha Shankar Bakshi, succumbed to the same disorder, and from 2013 onwards, he had to discontinue regular classes.
“With my worsening lung condition, my body got weaker and was eventually advised by my doctor to not attend regular school as it could lead to me contracting infection. Since 2013 I have been studying at home, my school Nava Nalanda High School was very understanding and helped me in every possible way to complete my secondary examination. I gave my WB Secondary Examinations from the hospital and scored 68 per cent.”
Not content with his score, Bakshi was determined to his better his score in the WBHSE. Despite his condition worsening, he devoted six hours a day to study. “Given my condition, attending school was impossible so the onus was on me to complete my syllabus and prepare well. Getting a good score is a must to get admission into a good college,” said Bakshi, with a laugh.
Bakshi who loves reading thrillers is a fan of Agatha Christie and Satyajit Ray. And also aspires to write some thrillers one. Needless, to say, he scored his highest in English other than Computer Science.
On being asked if he was happy with the score, he said, “Yes, of course. Now am looking forward to getting admitted to a decent college before, I head off for a lung transplant in Chennai.”
The ease with which he speaks about his surgery, reveals his desire to lead a healthy life in future. “I want to live a healthy life, complete my education and take care of my mother,” says the young lad, who is extremely optimistic about his transplant, which is going to cost around INR 60,00,000.
Coming from a middle-class family, which had already exhausted its resources in having his father treated, which was followed by his was not an easy task. His mother, Pratima Bakshi, a homemaker was already finding it difficult to collect money for his regular treatment when his doctor declared that it would be difficult for the lad to survive without an immediate lung transplant. The family is at present running a crowdfunding campaign on Milaap (https://milaap.org/fundraisers/support-sougata) to raise funds for the surgery.
On being asked what next plans he has post recovery, the little champ said, “You know what, I am a great fan of Shah Rukh Khan and Kolkata Knight Riders. But am yet watch any of its matches live from the Eden. God willing, I would love to watch my favourite team play at the Eden, at the IPL next year.”