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Ankita Jain Sharma is getting ready for her next big fund-raiser, a jump off a city skyscraper
Most of us have thought of, or at least desired to, try some sort of ‘extreme sport’ in our lifetime, as a bucket-list activity. If not for anything else, just for the sake of thrill and the experience. Sounds like a rip off from Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, doesn’t it? Well, stunts like skydiving, abseiling, rock climbing and scuba diving sound super exciting but equally unnerving. Those who do it for passion surely have loads of courage and must be pumped with adrenaline. But how many of us will try this passion for the sake of society?
Ankita Jain Sharma, a true brave-heart and an adrenaline junkie, is one such. She has grown up as an outdoor kid who has even tried reverse rollerblading, and that speaks it all.
“I was always that kid who would get injured, but I was never afraid of challenging myself,” Ankita tells Indian Link. Never professionally trained, but driven by passion, she participates in extreme stunts to raise awareness and generate funds for charitable purposes.
“I like to give back to the society in my own way,” she says smiling. “Well, what could be better if you have a passion that can help make money for the right cause, and also make it heard!”
She has participated in many fund raising and volunteering events, a skydiving act being the last one which she did for RSPCA WA.
“I’ve been volunteering and raising money through marathon and walks, but then last year I thought, why not do something a bit more challenging,” Ankita says with infectious energy. “It challenges me, it raises funds and at the same time builds awareness. It is very satisfying. I love it!”
Her next feat will be the ‘Central Park Plunge’. Abseiling 220 metres from the roof of the Perth’s tallest building Central Park on St George’s Terrace, she will be raising funds for the Fiona Wood Foundation.
“Abseiling is something I have never done before, but I am excited about it”, exclaims the 27-year-old.
One can only imagine the spirit this young lady has.
More than anything, such extreme sport needs lots of support and just as much cheering of course. These alone make such stunts great activities for fundraising. Not only does the event grab attention, it also creates awareness about the cause, because people get talking about the event and the reason.
“Like in this case, Fiona Wood Foundation is actually doing amazing work in burn management and recovery,” notes Ankita. The Fiona Wood Foundation is an NGO spearheaded by Professor Fiona Wood AM, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon and a burns specialist. The organisation pioneers in providing new treatments for healing burns and minimizing scarring.
“It’s a great charity that more people need to be aware of,” she points out. In fact, their vision of providing scar-less healing is a blessing for burn and deep injury victims.
The ‘Central Park Plunge’ takes place on Saturday, 3 Sept and has already grabbed enough attention.
“With all the support I have I am currently leading as one of the top four fundraisers who will get to meet Fiona Wood,” she shares excitedly. “My goal is to raise at least $2000.”
All the funds raised go to the foundation. But for Ankita the sense of achievement derived from being able to contribute to society in her unique way, is rewarding enough.
Her ‘giving back’ attitude extends to her work arena too. Working in the property division of Bankwest, she led the corporate volunteering team for almost two years. Other than that, the list of organisations she has fund-raised for, is mind-boggling: there’s Foodbank, Dogs’ Refuge Home in Shenton Park, RSPCA, People We Care, Uniting Care, and Beyondblue just to name a few. From working in kitchens for the homeless to planting trees, she has always been actively involved organising volunteering opportunities for Bankwest, and her efforts have all gone well recognised.
In a sense, skydiving and abseiling are but an extension of her caring attitude combined with the passion of challenging herself. “As every year passes I wish to challenge myself, raise awareness and probably reduce the stigma for associations with charities which are not well known out there,” concludes Ankita.
She also wishes to see more youngsters to join in such causes.
Ankita, you inspire us. You are a hero and role model to many. We need more brave-hearts like you. Keep going, girl; we’ll be there to see you take the plunge!