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Who knows it better than her- Yashoda Wakankar

Updated: Feb 6, 2019

Achiever of international award for Outstanding Person and the founder of Sanvedana Foundation share her courageous story with us

At the age of 7, she was detected with Epileptic attack. Those tender thoughts of a little girl who dreams of fairy tales were tuning into dark thoughts, she had Left Temporal Lobe Epilepsy. Her favorite activities like swimming, outdoor running and playing outside were limited. Somewhere within her she felt very helpless and had immense pain. Thankfully she had parents who themselves are from medical background. Their motivation and support made her adapt to a new lifestyle and things she now like more, be it drawings or learning Indian classical music.

She believes - Once you accept any situation, then there will be no stopping from leading beautiful life.

During her 30’s she was successfully operated for epileptic surgery and her 23 years of fight with this state of epilepsy was over.

But she pondered on one idyllic thought, this is only one Yashoda, epilepsy fighter, who is out of the pain of Epilepsy, there are many more like her. She has sleepless nights thinking about other epilepsy fighter’s struggle and the roadblocks they face each day. And she decided to do something that will make other’s life as beautiful as her own. That’s when Sanvedana Foundation, an Epilepsy Support Group, was founded in Pune on 22nd February 2004.

When we asked about Sanvedana Foundation and its uniqueness,

Yashoda humbly mentioned: Sanvedana is a support group for people with epilepsy and by the people with epilepsy. Being a self-help group, the members have a monthly meeting where they discuss their condition and their views on general problems arising because of it. Any new information published anywhere on epilepsy is shared/discussed during these meetings. Sometimes experts are invited to give lectures related to subjects, like ‘Yoga and Epilepsy’, ‘Diet and Epilepsy’, ‘Parenting’, ‘Hobbies’, etc. It also undertakes counseling center for people dealing with epilepsy patients. Epilepsy patients prefer the counselling center rather than sharing problems in a group and problems may differ based on age group and social background. The unique thing about Sanvedana Foundation is we are running a Marriage Bureau for the People with Epilepsy, till today, they have conducted 4 epilepsy bureaus and 24 marriages for the patients across India. Marriages with Epilepsy youth are complex thing in society but team Sanvedana Foundation has achieved this beautiful success.

We realized that expensive Medicinal Help, for the needy People with Epilepsy who can’t afford monthly medical expenses was very much required as these people were fighting with two battles. Physical/Psychological pain and financial uncertainty for buying medicines.

Sanvedana Foundation made an appeal on social media as well as through newspapers and received huge response; more than 200 patients got the sponsorship for their annual medication expenses.

Yashoda guided us on how society can contribute to this great mission !

Sanvedana foundation is looking forward for many such hands to help those who can’t afford a surgery or who are in need of medical support as it is ongoing process and this mission can succeed only with Society’s support.

Foundation believes, emotional support, positive attitude and acceptance from family members and society can help epilepsy fighters to overcome the stress, anxiety and loneliness. Since problems of the epilepsy patients are widely similar, families and friends should encourage patients to seek guidance and share experiences with other patients. This provides emotional and moral support to one another and to families. Listening to and accepting others' experiences, providing sympathetic understanding and establishing social networks helps a lot. Epilepsy fighters and parents of Epilepsy kids need to be supported with compassion.

Foundation suggests, epilepsy children as well adults should wear a bracelet with contact details, it helps fighters in case seizure arises outside house. Moreover, bracelet can help other Epilepsy fighters as they would be encouraged to ask Epilepsy information once they see bracelet in fighter’s hand as otherwise people do not talk/share about their epilepsy problems because of Stigma/social taboo around it.

Yashoda and Sanvedana mission has complete trust on: with the society’s support, we all can create beautiful tomorrow for epilepsy fighters by showering positivity and morale support to them.

Stories of overcoming one’s own life challenges are motivating but Mrs. Yashoda Wakankar has been leading a life of a guardian who thinks about other’s sufferings before her own hurdles and showing them a path with full of compassion.

If you wish to know more about her work, you may visit:

This Article is supported by

Vanshika Popat

Avanti Court Primary School, London, United Kingdom

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