Published: 27th August 2018
This 16-year-old turned her school project into a book about smoking and donated the profits to a cancer foundation
Sukkriti turned her school project into a book about the harms of smoking and donated the proceeds to an NGO
Sukkriti Nath is just like any other regular teenager from Gurugram. Except, she did something different and thoughtful that is now helping over hundreds of children suffering from cancer. Sukkriti turned a school project into a book on the harmful impact of smoking and then donated the entire proceeds of her book, The Burning Truth, to an NGO that helps children in their fight against cancer.
Sukkriti went to Pathways School in Gurugram. When she was in class 9, the students were given a project to prepare a report of 3,500 words on something they were "passionate about." They had six months to work on this report, and also document their journey. "As I started to brainstorm for ideas, various concepts came to my mind, however, one that stuck was the concept of ‘Teenage Smoking’. The reason why I chose this topic was that it had always affected me deeply, and it was one that I could relate to personally, being a teenager myself. My maternal grandfather was a chain-smoker and we all know how commercial advertisements can be fuel to a six-year old’s fiery imagination. Those deeply disturbed me since I became aware that smoking leads to cancer. I somehow joined the dots and since then, it was written in stone for me that smoking was injurious to health," explains Sukkriti.
A book to make a difference: Sukkriti took almost 6 months to finish the final novel
Cancer has always been a disturbing part of the teen's life, she had seen her paternal grandfather battle cancer and eventually pass away in front of her eyes. That incident ignited a thirst within her to do something about it apart from the book she was already working on. Sukkriti decided to donate all the revenue generated from the sales of her novel to Cuddles Foundation, an organisation that supports underprivileged children in fighting cancer.
Sukkriti visited their centre in AIIMS. That is what moved her. She realised the magnitude of the problem and what we’re dealing with when she actually went to the paediatric cancer departments in the hospitals the foundation works with.
Eight out of 10 children who are malnourished lose against cancer. Cuddles believes food heals and with the help of generous donors and partners, they feed these children and nourish them so they can get better soon. The foundation works with the government and charity cancer hospitals across the country including TATA Memorial, AIIMS, Kidwai, MNJ and many more to reach more children. They provide children undergoing treatment with food, hot meals, nutritional supplements and ration baskets as per their requirements so that the kids have the strength to fight their cancer. "Isn’t it lovely that a young girl who could have done anything with the sales of her book, chose to give it to lesser privileged kids. For us, Sukkriti is the hero of this story. Her humility and empathy are an inspiration to the young and old alike," said the team at Cuddles Foundation.
Happiness in spreading awareness: 500 copies of the book have been sold so far
Sukkriti says she spent over six months on this book, from developing the plot to writing it. "I find it reasonable to say that the entire journey was an exhilarating roller coaster ride, for there were times where I didn’t know what the character would do next, and there were times when I was so certain of every single detail that was to be written. There were times when I wrote several pages in one go, and there were times when I felt undoubtedly low. Well, I personally believe that self-motivation is the key to everything and anything, and the same helped me in staying focused even when everything was going wrong!," Sukkriti adds.
So far, 500 copies of the book have been sold and three cheques remitted to Cuddles Foundation. However, what Sukkriti wants is when someone will come up to her and say "Your book inspired me to quit smoking."
You can find the book here.