Beyond the scars of discrimination - MUMBAI

After transgender-mother Gauri Sawant, it is the turn of Nisha, a young woman with ichthyosis, a genetic skin condition, to capture the national imagination.

Nisha is part of the second edition of the Vicks #TouchOfCare campaign, which was unveiled at the Sunny Super Sound Preview Theatre, Juhu, on Thursday.

The second campaign, called, ‘Vicks — One in a Million’, is based on the idea that every child deserves care. The film takes its viewers through the transformation of Nisha due to the love and care provided by her adoptive parents, in a first-person narrative .

Nisha, who was abandoned by her biological parents at the age of two, was adopted by Dr. Aloma and David Lobo. Coping with societal rejection, she moves from anger and frustration to understanding and maturity. “We are delighted that our daughter’s story is a part of the campaign and it could not have been told in a nicer way. She has been an absolute blessing in our life, rejuvenated us and helped us discover ourselves again,” said Dr. Aloma Lobo.

On her part, Nisha said her parents had a huge role to play in her growing to be a confident woman. “My parents didn’t see me as different, neither did my siblings. I’ve had a pretty good life so far.” People with disability just need to be strong and accept themselves, she said.

Her mother said it was important to treat such children without labelling them. “The way people look at her with sympathy upsets me more than anything else. If we, as parents, stop labelling them others will do the same,” said Ms. Lobo.

Cricketer Gautam Gambhir and actors Soha Ali Khan and Shriya Saran were present at the screening to lend support to Nisha.

“Aloma’s selfless care and her normalisation of Nisha’s condition is a beautiful demonstration of how ‘family’ is beyond just biological relationships, and how real families are formed on the foundation of love and care,” said Ms. Ali Khan. “I saw fighters in the video, from everybody she touched to everybody she inspired. Seeing someone who lives and loves that way truly inspires me,” said Ms. Saran. Mr. Gambir said he was honoured to share the stage with real-life heroes. “These are people who will change the country. It is initiatives like these thatwill change our outlook.”

Ms. Sawant, the guest for the screening, said Nisha's story overwhelmed her. “I am confident people will shower her with the same love that was given to me.” Ms. Sawant was felicitated with the Vicks ‘#TouchOfCare’ mother award for her contribution towards the campaign. “Children should be educated about different genders from the primary level,” she said.“Education is the only thing through which we can remove the stigma againsttransgenders.”

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