Home Animal ‘My Daughter’s Meds Price Rs 80 Lakh/Yr’: 12-YO’s Mother Begins Biz

‘My Daughter’s Meds Price Rs 80 Lakh/Yr’: 12-YO’s Mother Begins Biz

‘My Daughter’s Meds Price Rs 80 Lakh/Yr’: 12-YO’s Mother Begins Biz


On the Financial Instances Convention in September 2023, the viewers was rapt with consideration as a younger woman spoke on stage. The room of economic consultants held on to her each phrase — her journey, her struggles, and her wins. And Keya Hatkar couldn’t be prouder. It had taken her 12 years of pure grit to have arrived right here.

Her mom Monisha Hatkar relives the day in 2011 that introduced her world to a standstill. Keya, a number of months outdated on the time, was identified with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA).

Because the neurologist spent the subsequent a number of minutes breaking down the specifics of this uncommon, terminal, progressive, neuromuscular genetic dysfunction, Monisha was barely listening. One sentence nonetheless stood out. “Keya could not make it previous her second birthday as there isn’t any remedy for SMA.”

However, Keya’s present age will let you know she defied science and medication. Because the day of her prognosis in 2011, Monisha, her elder daughter Naira (16) and Keya have made the many of the physician’s recommendation “to return dwelling and benefit from the time left”.

As for Monisha, she figured two paths lay in entrance of her — to wallow in disappointment or to select up the items and march on. It’s a no-brainer which one she opted for.

Keya's book 'Dancing on My Wheels' has sold over 1000 copies to date
Keya’s guide ‘Dancing on My Wheels’ has offered over 1000 copies to this point, Image supply: Monisha

Turning disaster into alternative

What this single mom recounts because the hardest part of her life, was additionally the one which birthed the thought of her enterprise ‘Thoughts Your Tongue’.

Explaining how the culinary enterprise empowering dwelling cooks was born in 2014, she says it stemmed from an incident that yr when Keya was hospitalised for extreme bronchial pneumonia and malnutrition.

“For kids with SMA, one of many components that may lengthen their lifeline is sweet diet suited to their physique kind — meals wealthy in protein, low in carbs and most significantly freshly ready.”

To make sure Keya was being well-fed with contemporary meals, Monisha needed to stop a profitable company job that yr, a call that additionally put an finish to the household’s funds.

“Whereas Keya was in hospital, I keep in mind my mum and I having a dialog on how I deliberate to maneuver forward. It was at that second that I made a decision if meals was the explanation for Keya being on the hospital mattress that day, I might flip it into the explanation for our survival,” says Monisha.

What began out as a Fb web page with one dwelling chef — Monisha’s mum who would cater for occasion orders in Mumbai — is now a proper enterprise with a novel enterprise mannequin.

The enterprise encountered the primary of its many challenges when Monisha’s mom, who had spearheaded it till then, needed to transfer again dwelling to Visakhapatnam. “Who would wish to cook dinner for a dwelling?” thought Monisha however was stunned when her Fb submit promoting her concept acquired love from over 60 dwelling cooks in Mumbai.

Keya frequently gives talks about her journey battling spinal muscular atrophy
Keya often provides talks about her journey battling spinal muscular atrophy, Image supply: Monisha

“These have been girls who had delivered infants and have been seeking to get again to work, girls with well being points who couldn’t work anymore, or simply girls who wished to do one thing constructive,” explains Monisha.

With the platform seeing large progress when it comes to 1000’s of orders, Monisha knew two issues have been non-negotiable if she was seeking to proceed — a industrial kitchen and funding.

“I believed ‘Why not ask the house cooks themselves to show into entrepreneurs and put money into the enterprise?’ It will additionally get rid of the necessity for exterior buyers whereas empowering the ladies to scale,” she provides. However reluctant husbands put a damper on the thought.

This was when she realised that if she couldn’t get the ladies to agree, she must discover a option to monetise the enterprise. In 2015, Monisha moved to Bengaluru the place she labored with an actual property startup for 2 years, giving her a window into the nuances that formed a enterprise. She was now able to dive into her personal enterprise that had been on maintain since 2015.

As we speak, Thoughts Your Tongue boasts 13 kinds of cuisines. “There isn’t a binding association for the ladies,” explains Monisha. “If a house chef is free to take up an order that has simply come by way of the platform, they will achieve this and receives a commission.”

Monisha funds Keya's medicines through a crowdfunding campaign and her venture Mind Your Tongue
Monisha funds Keya’s medicines by way of a crowdfunding marketing campaign and her enterprise Thoughts Your Tongue, Image supply: Monisha

One of many cooks, Aarthi Das (45) says being part of Thoughts Your Tongue has been a recreation changer for her. Aarthi had been catering for six years earlier than she met Monisha. “As we speak not solely do I understand how to cook dinner, however I perceive branding, packaging, and so many points of the enterprise.”

One other dwelling chef Priyanka Chadda (56) who specialises in Indian and Chinese language meals says she is glad she might flip her love for cooking right into a enterprise. She shares, “Monisha helped me create a model of my very own, get the meals license, and get me able to conduct the enterprise in an environment friendly method. I earn anyplace between Rs 40,000 to Rs 60,000 a month relying on how a lot time I’m able to dedicate.”

Credit score Monisha with the success of the enterprise, and she or he says she wouldn’t have been in a position to do it with out Keya and Naira.

A penchant for dwelling life to the fullest

Monisha with her daughters Naira and Keya
Monisha together with her daughters Naira and Keya, Image supply: Monisha

Individuals often have bucket lists, issues they wish to do earlier than they die. Monisha too has them. The one distinction is she plans understanding any day could be their final collectively.

Because the trio benefit from the time they’ve collectively, Monisha shares it isn’t at all times simple owing to Keya’s well being circumstances. The SMA has induced Keya to develop extreme kyphoscoliosis in her backbone — a deviation within the regular curvature of the backbone, a dislocated proper hip, frozen hips, extreme osteoporosis, kidney stones and obstructive sleep apnea.

In 2019 Keya’s backbone started rotating as her muscle tissue started weighing down on it. Throughout one of many common checkups, Monisha was informed she must bear a backbone corrective surgical procedure. She shares that it was throughout this time that she obtained to know concerning the miracle drug  Risdiplam — one of many first oral medication developed to deal with spinal muscular atrophy.

Keya with her older sister Naira whom she also considers her best friend
Keya together with her older sister Naira whom she additionally considers her finest buddy, Image supply: Monisha

Costing Rs 6 lakh per bottle, the drug targets a sure gene with a view to stimulate it to provide extra protein. If Keya’s situation is to be managed, she must take 6.5 ml of the drug every single day. In a yr, this quantities to 30 bottles costing Rs 80 lakh.

Whereas Monisha funds these bills by way of Thoughts Your Tongue, she shares it isn’t sufficient. And in December 2021, she started crowdfunding for a similar. However whilst she loses sleep over what if they will’t crowdfund sufficient for the approaching yr, Monisha has by no means let Keya really feel the brunt of it.

Keya shares that her mother has at all times made her imagine that she is greater than only a youngster with SMA. Whereas she can’t run and play and even carry the burden of her college books with out assist, she is grateful for all of the issues she will nonetheless do and is at all times saying sure to each alternative.

Keya enjoys her time at school with her friends and loves participating in extra curriculars
Keya enjoys her time in school together with her associates and loves taking part in further curriculars, Image supply: Monisha

In February 2023, when Keya’s trainer recommended she take part in a guide writing competitors, the younger woman was thrilled. It will additionally present her a distraction from the ache she felt whereas recuperating from her backbone surgical procedure.

Keya’s guide ‘Dancing on My Wheels’ is a nationwide best-seller with 1,000 copies offered in lower than a month. Inform her that is an astounding feat, and she or he says it is likely one of the many to come back. “You knock me down 9 occasions and I’ll nonetheless handle to stand up on ten.”

In case you’d like to assist Keya in her battle in opposition to SMA, you may donate, right here.

Edited by Pranita Bhat



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here