Swimming against the current
The smiling face and energetic chat of Anila Thomas will never give a clue about what she has gone through in life. In the thatched building on the Goshree road near the Ernakulam high Court in Kerala, Anila sells Tandoori tea. Anila was a software engineer and hailed form a middle class family. It was while she worked as a software engineer in Coimbatore that she was diagnosed of Blood cancer. Life came to a standstill and along came the debt trap of 30 lakhs.
3 years after Cancer, in 2016, Anila started a small startup which manufactured cotton waste. She also started a paper plate company. A new textile shop was also started. The organization grew slowly. She also started an NGO that gave provided food materials to 100 families that were affected by cancer.
It was during this time that she was diagnosed with cancer for the second time, now in the liver. The only way out was surgically removing the liver. It was then that her brother and her father met with accidents. Her father lost track of his memory after that and often behaved like small children. She had to undergo the surgery wherein 55% of her liver was removed. She left the hospital with 64 stitches and then came the new trap. A debt of 16 lakhs made by her partners came in as a mighty blow on her life.
Even after 3 months after the surgery, she was not completely cured. Since she was not able to consume enough food, her doctor advised her to shift to Ernakulam for better treatment. It was then that she saw tandoori tea in a YouTube video. Wirth the help of her friend Nurul Imam, she started the present shop on the Goshree road. She learned the technique of making tandoori tea from YouTube and that was the beginning a new era in her life. Today the shop serves around 8 varieties of Tandoori tea. More varieties are yet to come. Around 200 people visit the shop every day and Anila now plans on opening another shop in Ernakulam. Two surgeries are yet to be done but Anila’s face is as bright as the Sun.