Lucknow: The festival of Rakshabandhan is an auspicious occasion of celebrating the bond between sisters and brothers. In the traditional sense, the brothers promise to protect their sisters. However, in a remarkable act of love and sacrifice, a sister from Prayagraj, Anshika Kaithwas went beyond this tradition. 

Her brother was hospitalized suffering from the condition of cirrhosis. There was a need for liver transplant, and Anshika, the youngest of four siblings, vowed to save her brother’s life. Anshika, a national level football player, donated her liver, giving the gift of life to her brother. 

Who is Anshika?

Anshika is a resident of Prayagraj. Her father, Kamlesh Chandra, runs a small kiosk selling toffees, biscuits and other food items. Anshika’s mother, Lilavati is a homemaker. Anshika is the youngest among four siblings. She completed her school education from Prayag Mahila Vidyapeeth Girls Inter College in Allahabad. 

Anshika had always actively participated in various sports. In the year 2012-2013, Anshika participated in two national football matches for her school. She pursued her graduation from Kanpur University, where she continued playing football as part of the university games. Furthermore, Anshika pursued BPEd degree from Patiala University. During her time there, she participated in All India Football matches and the Santosh Trophy match in the year 2018-19.

During the trials, Anshika was selected to be a part of the Indian team in a school game. Unfortunately, a mistake in the passport prevented her from travelling to France for a football match. Nonetheless, she completed her training from a camp in the Pune, after which she received a certificate for her efforts. 

A life of struggles

Six people, including Anshika and her family members depended on their father’s earning from the kiosk. Anshika shares that her father worked tirelessly to provide for them. He would leave for work at 6 in the morning and would return back late at night. The family also owned a cow and a buffalo, which contributed to the family’s income though milk production. 

Improvements were observed in family’s condition when the eldest brother secured a job and started earning for the family. He worked as a sports teacher and also did a private job at MNIT. With his multiple jobs, he was able to earn a total of Rs 35,000 in a month. In unfortunate circumstances, he was left bedridden due to health issues related to his liver. Anshika is also a married woman now; her husband works at a medical store, and they have a 6-month-old daughter. 

Brother’s treatment

When the doctors were consulted for Anshika’s brother’s condition, they were informed about a liver problem with the only solution of a transplant. The family was left astonished hearing the costs of Rs 30 lakhs for the operation.  Initially, the family considered going to hospitals in Delhi, but later found our that liver transplant treatment was available at Apollo Hospital in Lucknow. They received the monetary help of Rs 5 lakh from the PM fund and the rest was acquired through a bank loan.

Facing difficulties in the medical treatment

The medical tests were conducted, and it was found out that her brother’s blood group did not match with any other family members’ blood group except hers. Her parents are in their frail state and the doctors did not allow them to donate their organs. Her second elder brother had dengue at the time and was also dealing with liver problems. Fortunately, her blood was a match, so she decided the donate her liver to her brother. She expressed gratitude for being chosen for this task.  

Anshika shares that at the time of her brother’s diagnosis, her daughter was only 2 months old. Her husband supported and encouraged her immensely and took care of the daughter in her weak condition. On the day of the surgery, when she arrived at the hospital, Dr Waliullah Siddiqui provided thorough explanations that reassured her family, and as a result her surgery was successful.

In the pursuit of dreams

After the surgery, the doctors advised her to take bedrest for a few months. Anshika shares her future dreams where she plans to return to the field and resume playing football. She has always loved this sport and does not intend to give up. Football is more than just a sport for her, it is a passion and a career goal she aspires to achieve.