Child Abuse: Courage is not absence of fear, but presence of faith

Child Abuse: Courage is not absence of fear, but presence of faith

When you really want something to happen, the whole world conspires to help you achieve it.

– Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist.

Earning admission to Asia’s prestigious Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai in their flagship course despite being a transgender, child sexual abuse survivor, a person with disabilities, and having been born into a family of manual scavengers has by far being the proudest moment.

Born in a small village to parents who were involved in manual scavenging and being initially denied admission in primary school, it took a lot of perseverance on the part of me and my parents to prove my competence. A daunting journey, with the early discovery of my gender identity coupled with childhood sexual abuse trauma, physical disability, deprived of access to education, studied in a vernacular medium, access to basic needs – clean water, food, and healthcare while growing up have immensely affected my physical, social, cognitive, and emotional development. Yet, I did not let a litany of struggles dampen my spirit in earning admission to the most inclusive and premier education institute, TISS, and Bachelor of Engineering.

For most children, biology is destiny and that is all – but for some, biology is a confusing, fraught, and frustrating concept, because they are gender incongruence. Due to my gender identity, I was always targeted as a piece of mocking and was bullied innumerable times; and I had to quit jobs, fight against continuous atrocities. Shashank Sir is the guiding light for so many children like me; I am down-rightly grateful to Shashank Sir for his kind help, blessings, and guidance.

Having said that, my firm belief and conviction that the purpose of life is to explore and enhance maximum potential has been helping me to overturn all odds into opportunities. Does that mean, all my challenges are over? Certainly not, it’s a journey! As Shashank Sir always says, we must always surmount those challenges with strong determination; challenges knock on our door to help us identify and enhance our potential. Navigating through myriad challenges, I have learnt courage is not the absence of fear, but the presence of faith. Challenges in life have made me compassionate, strong-willed, courageous, and wise.

A Survivor

1 comment

  1. Smrity Bhawna 3 years ago January 21, 2021

    Hi Amit.. thanks for sharing your journey..that is really inspiring.. don’t limit yourself due to other people..more power to..Kudos to Shashank Bhaiya and team for their noble work.. rightly said in Gita “Helping one person may not change the world, but it can change that person’s world”
    Way to go..


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