How Atraeyee Niharchandra learnt to walk twice and now helps people lose weightPallavi Sinha
Paulo Coelho said: “When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not yet ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back.”
Atraeyee Niharchandra will agree. Life has handed her so many challenges, a weaker person would have been crushed under the strain. But it was those very challenges and that very journey that made Atraeyee the strong, smart and plucky person she is today. Atraeyee, Founder of Revise Diet, has dedicated her life to helping others lead healthier lives without making the big sacrifices that weight loss and fitness regimens require.
Atraeyee began her entrepreneurship journey at 17 when she joined her father’s venture Proniak Forge and Flanges and worked with him through her student life. At the age of 23, she met with an accident which tore one of her ligaments, rendering her bedridden for a year. This was a depressing phase for young Atraeyee, who became dependant on people for basic needs like walking, climbing, etc. It took her 14 months to walk by herself. But she used the time to join a naturopathy centre near her home where she helped herself and also learnt the science.
After recovery, Atraeyee moved to Bangalore where she joined the NSR cell at IIM Bangalore. After completing her course, she was unable to find an IT job. “In fact, my dad’s friends who own companies in Bangalore didn’t give me a job,” she says.
Rather than moping, she went back to IIM Bangalore, started working as a researcher and began to plan her PhD. That was also the time she met her future husband and got married. She set up house in Bangalore and started a food blog where she developed healthier versions of spicy Indian meals. That was the genesis of Revise Diet.Needless to add, the blog was a huge success; her job at IIM Bangalore was going well too. One would have thought the travails of the past were behind her, but Atraeyee’s challenges were just beginning. She met with another accident and hurt the same knee again. A few months later she lost sensation in the entire leg.
This time Atraeyee was better prepared. She took a break from IIM Bangalore and moved back home to the doctors who had cured her before. The trigger, of course, was that she was unable to afford the expensive treatment in Bangalore.
Ever the positive thinker, this time she decided to enjoy her rehab phase. “Every dark cloud has a silver lining,” she adds. She received positive responses from the naturopathy centre in Gujarat. Rejecting surgery, the doctors suggested she lose weight to speed up her recovery and put less pressure on her leg. But losing weight with her torn ligament was a challenge. She took up a few light exercises like yoga and started working on her diet. This helped her to recover fast and she planned to return to Bangalore.
This time she came with a zeal to live her life to the fullest despite her troubles. Family support was dwindling and so she returned to IIM Bangalore. But exercising was expensive. Her friends suggested that being a food and nutrient specialist, she should start her own fitness centre. Revise Diet had just gotten another lease of life.
“Don’t work on weight loss, work on your health. Weight loss is not a good feeling as it is a loss. I want people to have health awareness. It is not very complicated to become healthy. It takes only a simple understanding of food, patience in life and peace of mind to be healthy,” says Atraeyee.
She started with her friends. The startup gained momentum when her first client lost 12 kgs in two months along with her shawarma rolls and other junk food. Soon the startup became quite popular via ‘word of mouth’. In a year’s time, Atraeyee helped around 100 clients, majorly women.
Currently Revise Diet is involved with men, women and children across the country. In two years Atraeyee has helped 200 people lose weight with their regular diet. Her charges are Rs 1200 for a month; quite competitive compared to others in the industry.She aspires to reach as many people as possible with a target of 200 every year. Currently the nutritionist at NutriTown, Atraeyee gives induction for free. Along with treating weight loss, she also treats chronic diseases.
She has enrolled for MSc in food and nutrition and with her knowledge in nutrition, food and naturopathy, she is looking to raise money in her venture and cater to as many as 80,000 people in the near future.
For a girl who lost her ability to walk not once but twice, this is an incredible achievement indeed!