I was diagnosed with vitiligo when I was only 9 years old. It has been a nightmare ever since. Humans have reached the moon and back but we still don't know what causes vitiligo, and there is no guaranteed cure for this either. In a society which worships appearances, we, the people with vitiligo are stared upon in the most disgusted way as if it was our fault to look like this.
Vitiligo can happen to anybody, anytime and anywhere. It is more visible on darker skin. People with vitiligo go through a lot of depression and high anxiety levels. People with vitiligo go through suicidal tendencies in general and are mostly awkward and embarrassed by how they look with no fault of theirs. I wanted to create my own identity through my skills, and I still try my best through sports, fashion and entrepreneurship.
For strangers, I'm the guy who has the white patches. You gave me this identity which was negative. You made me hate myself. I was called names and a guy with a disease. I can't even express my stress level from an early age of life where kids my age were playing with toys, I was in front of the mirror crying and asked god "why me"? It took me a long time to figure all of this out. People ask me all the time, how do I have the confidence to take on the world when society is trying to suppress you?
You are pretty much by yourself in this vitiligo journey because no one will ever understand what this mind has gone through, even the people you love can only hug you or just be there by your side, but you still know that you are alone. It made me understand that I just have one life to live, and it has given me a unique challenge, and I will embrace it. I always wanted to be in the fashion world and to be a model, but in a country like India, we are busy trying to look fairer. We haven't begun to overcome narrow mindedness. I can’t imagine going to a studio and actually getting picked up in this shallow world. I have been called names my entire life. I thank you all for giving me this kind of an experience and the platform in life that has made me stronger.
"I do what I do and there is no stopping me!"