Rikta Ghoshal was born into an impoverished family in Bolpur, West Bengal. Her parents were not very healthy also. Rikta’s mother suffered from polio, which made working difficult for her, adding to its financial strain.
While Rikta’s birth brought her parent’s immense joy, unfortunately, she was born with a cleft lip. It worried the family, mostly because she was a girl, for whom having a perfect, spotless face or conventionally beautiful features mattered a lot.
In 2005, we did a medical mission camp at Bolpur. It was here that we met Rikta for the first time. She was six years old then, bright and brave. We did her first corrective cleft surgery. While that helped, not everything was solved.
Four years later, in 2009, we were back in Bolpur doing our next mission. Rikta was ten then. It was a complicated process for someone still so young, but Rikta remained brave and joyous as we did her cleft palate surgery. The final touch was given in 2014 when Rikta underwent her final stage- a cleft lip surgery.
Rikta had been around doctors and medical institutions since she was a small child. Therefore, it was not a surprise to anyone when she decided that she wanted to spend her life helping others. Her dedication, persistence, and passion paid off, and she is now back in the same medical institutions, except now, she’s a nurse, brightening up the dull and gloomy days of the patients with her radiant smile.