A survivor, she has lived to tell the tale. And ace exams. Mansi Anand Raibagkar, a student of Kamla Nehru Mahavidyalaya in Nagpur, who has successfully fought off blood cancer, scored 93 per cent in HSC exams. Incidentally, she had scored 90 per cent in SSC exams. Mansi scored 93 percent in Commerce stream in the HSC exams, results for which were declared last week. Although she had succeeded in fighting off blood cancer fully by 2014, the three-year long fight had left her with a crippling blow. The “side-effects” of cancer drugs took a toll. She developed a deformity in her hip joint that left her immobile and confined her to bed.
The girl, brimming with extraordinary optimism, is all smiles when asked about her “courageous fight”. “I had hardly cried when I got it (cancer) in my seventh standard in 2011. I had fainted a few times and had to be taken to a doctor in Aurangabad, where tests proved I had blood cancer,” she says. Asked about the secret of her success in the fight against cancer and exams, Mansi says, “I never think negative.”
Mansi had shifted to Nagpur from Jintur, a tehsil town 350 km from here in the Parbhani district of Marathwada where her parents lived, to live with her maternal uncle, Prashant Pendhari, and grandparents,
Ajit and Rekha Pendhari, in 2015 for further studies. “She had to undergo the painful chemotherapy and bone marrow treatment for which we had to take her to Nagpur. A girl with extraordinary will power, she got out of it after about three years of treatment that extended well up to her SSC year,” says Prashant, adding, “she always displayed maturity much greater than her age.”
Mansi’s father, Anand, runs a small milk business in Jintur. Her younger brother, Ajinkya, is in standard VII. Her parents saw their world crashing down when Mansi was diagnosed with cancer. But the little girl’s gutsy fight made their task easier.
“She was a picture of confidence at that small age which lent us so much of strength. Even after her chemo session, she would get busy with her studies. She never slipped down from her topper position,” say her parents, Anand and Vishakha Raibagkar.
“When she developed a deformity in her hip joint after cancer treatment, she could hardly walk. We had planned a wheelchair for her, but she said she won’t use it. So, I had to literally lift her wherever we had to go, including taking her to the exam centre at Parbhani during SSC exams,”Anand said.
In SSC exams, Mansi came out with flying colours, scoring 90 per cent, with 100 out of 100 in mathematics and 89 out of 100 in science. Immediately after her SSC exams, a successful surgery on her left leg helped her stand on her feet again, albeit with a permanent limp. It was on the insistence of her maternal uncle, Prashant Pendhari, that her parents shifted Mansi to Nagpur.
“Here, her classroom was on second floor. She had to scale the ladder despite the handicap. She did it without any complaint,” said Prashant, an IT professional. Mansi’s ideal in career, however, is her aunt Anamika, a chartered accountant. “I am now preparing for CA entrance,” said Mansi. “I have great interest in accounts,” she adds.