Deepa had lost all hope upon losing her left leg in a near-fatal accident but little did she know that the students of the school where she worked as a guard would come up with funds to help her.
Around 6.30am on June 30, Deepa was travelling to Shiv Nadar School in DLF Phase 1 via DMRC metro train. As she got off the coach, Deepa lost consciousness and fell on the track. Though the metro train driver pulled the emergency brakes, the train had gone over her left leg.
“I woke up and saw that some oil from the train was dripping on my face. I touched my body and everything felt fine but soon, I fainted due to the shock and woke up in a nearby hospital,” 37-year-old Deepa said.
Deepa’s left leg had to be amputated. Being a single mother of a 15-year-old daughter, Deepa was depressed and felt that her life was at an end. She waited for her employers, a private security agency, to come to her rescue.
But, instead of the agency, officials from the administration department of the school reached out to ensure her well-being.
As the news spread in the school, four students — Aman Andikot, Shreyas, Varun Sawant and Anurag Pandey — of classes 9 and 10 came forward to help Deepa. They started a crowdsourcing website, www.sparkasmile.in, to reach out to their immediate community.
Aman said, “The idea for crowd funding came from an incident in the last year when one of our helpers met with an accident and the school funded her entire treatment. We were inspired and the moment we heard of the (Deepa’s) accident, the four of us wanted to help her.”
The students advertised about the venture in morning assemblies, during special events and even inter-school competitions to involve as many people as possible. The friends followed the ‘branch networking’ method and reached out to the parents and relatives of fellow students.
“We were able to collect ₹2.5 lakhs in three months. The entire amount was handed over to the school management, which then took care of Deepa didi’s treatment. We did not know who she was, as didi never took care of the floor our class in on but, she is a part of the school and our family,” 15-year-old Anurag said.
Deepa underwent seven surgical processes of skin grafting, after which the school consulted doctors about a prosthetic leg for her. Finally, they identified a German prosthetic leg for Deepa.
“I have been going for physiotherapy for the last couple of months. The school arranges a cab for every appointment. Everyone here makes me feel at home even though I joined them only three months before the accident,” Deepa said.
Deepa received her prosthetic leg on Friday. She said she is now able to walk normally and is thankful she can continue working to support her family.