Friends pool in to support Shyla and her ailing father Captain Shekhawat

Shyla Shekhawat

By Manju Mittal

A Fundraising event  titled ”˜Fundraising Afternoon Tea for Shyla’s Education’ aimed at supporting young Shyla, was held on Saturday June 15, 2019 at Bella Vesta. 

We all live an ideal dream of a world full of hope, happiness with homes filled with laughter of family members around us. Our children form the basis of that foundation, the loving family we dream and envisage. I had an overwhelming emotional meeting with the family of Captain Shekhawat’s wife Sonika Shekhawat and daughter Shyla on Saturday at fundraising event. 

Sonika, Shyla with Inderjeet

Shekhawat, who is fighting a life threatening cancer for the last 2 years is undergoing treatment in Sydney with exorbitant medical bills. He had to leave work in 2014 when his cancer was first diagnosed. He has been bed ridden for over two and a half years and Shyla, his daughter and wife, Sonika, have been providing full time care to the ailing father and husband. The young family is struggling both emotionally and financially and in addition they are residing in Australia with a student visa. As a result, it is costing $2,250 for the daughter to attend each school term at a local public school. 

Captain Shekhawat
Friends of Shekhawats at the fundraiser

Captain is on student visa with young family and no support. His wife can work 20 hours only due to visa conditions. To bear all the routine expenses like rent, groceries and medical expenses are putting enormous pressure on family. All the big organizations are not able to support him as he is not a permanent resident of Australia. The treatments lead to an infection in his brain that has made him totally dependent on the family. I caught up with Inderjit Singh Verdi, a caring friend and supporter of the family in their dire times, when he said, “We have organised an afternoon tea with friends and community members to meet this lovely young family and donate for this good cause. All funds raised will go towards the school fees for Shyla.” 
Sonika Shekhwat thanked all who came to support, “A big thank you to the GOPIO and the anonymous donors  for providing all necessary equipment as needed and a big thank you to the Harman Foundation for their continual support and thank you to all who have so far provided us with all kinds of support.” 

The Shekhawat story will hopefully encourage people from all diverse communities to support the family and assist them in their difficult time. A little support can go a long way and make a huge difference in their life. Your kind gesture can help bring captain home to his family soon. 

Says Inderjeet, “We are also looking into some respite care and counselling being provided to Sonika and Shyla and would love to hear from anyone who can assist them. Please help in any way possible to get the family back on their feet.”

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