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As a burn victim, Nivetha had to drop out of polytechnic where she was studying. But she returned after two and half years to finish her course. She then did BE through lateral entry after which she got an IT job through campus placement. Instead of taking it up, Nivetha joined the hospital where she was treated as secretary to the managing director with a view to helping burn victims like her.

Nivetha with Actor Karthi, in 2020 while working at Ganga Hospital.

Nivetha comes from Theni. Her father, a weaver, works in Udumalpet. Mother Lakshmi is a homemaker. Nivetha’s schooling was all in Theni. She recalls being a champion high-jumper in her school days.

Nivetha scored 426 in Class 10 and joined Thangamuthu Polytechnic in Periyakulam. She studied Electronics and Communication Engineering there.

During her vacation when she was in Udumalpet, she got burn injuries on her face in an accident. She was admitted to a hospital.

The family had to sell their house so she could get treatment. Then Nivetha was moved to a government hospital for further treatment since they couldn’t afford a private hospital any longer.

Scoring 96%, she came first in the entire polytechnic. But in campus interviews, no company offered her a job.

Nivetha with the Managing Director of Ganga Hospital, S. Rajasabapathy.

To help burn victim cases get free treatment, Ganga Hospital in Coimbatore had a Hope After Fire scheme to help poor patients. Nivetha was the first burn victim patient of the scheme in 2012. She went through seven corrective surgeries. All her treatment was given free.

While at home she would tend to goats and take tuition for school children so that she would stay in touch with what she had learned. After her health improved, Nivetha wanted to pick up the threads in her technical education.

She applied to Agaram Foundation for help who got her a seat in Apollo Polytechnic to study Computer Science in 2014. The expenses were to be borne by the foundation.

Nivetha recalls that she wouldn’t speak to too many people at her polytechnic initially. She would keep to herself in the hostel, too. The break made her catching up hard. She had to take breaks during the year for treatment, too.

Nivetha recalls the faculty members were very supportive at that time as well as her classmates. She felt encouraged to get back to sports and painting.

Scoring 96%, she came first in the entire polytechnic. But in campus interviews, no company offered her a job.

But Nivetha was not giving up. She applied to the foundation to study BE through lateral entry. Her sister who had finished her Class 12 had also applied for help to continue her college education. Only one from a family would get help, as per foundation rules.

Nivetha and her classmates were selected in the Smart India Hackathon for proposing a machine learning algorithm for early stage detection of breast cancer.

Her family members asked her to sacrifice her application for her sister. Agaram Foundation selected her application. Meanwhile, Nivetha was able to secure the assistance of Marram Education Charitable Trust for her sister’s education at Agni Engineering College in Chennai. Her sister has finished her BE and is now employed.

Meanwhile, her brother Arun got admission at the Chromepet Madras Institute of Technology campus. For his BE, Nivetha got assistance from Golden Heart Foundation.

Nivetha, the first person to get treated under the Hope After Scheme, meeting Actor Surya in 2012.

Nivetha finished her BE in 2020. She and her classmates were selected in the Smart India Hackathon for proposing a machine learning algorithm for early stage detection of breast cancer. Nivetha secured 76% in BE and got a job in VDart Software.

But Nivetha was more keen on helping burn victim people like her. So she didn’t take up the job she got through campusplacement. Ganga Hospital managing director S Rajasabapathy readily agreed with her idea of serving in the hospital and gave her a job as his secretary.

In 2012, she met Surya as the first person getting treatment under the scheme. Eight years later, she met his brother Karthi as an employee of the hospital.

Those who have suffered burn injuries on their face should come up, she says. They should not confine themselves at home. They should follow their heart and take up a job. Nivetha says she may have got more money if she had become a techie but she took up the hospital job to serve. Nivetha recalls how her grandmother and other family members gave her much support.

Witness her journey here.


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