A Life Altered: My journey from tears to hope, which will soon be available in stores. Image supplied.

Roshini wants to help turn tears into hope


On 25 October 2017, Roshini and Mark Pakkiree’s world came crashing down around them with the unexpected death of their only child, the 16-year-old Sanjit, because of illness. Despite their sadness, this Louis Trichardt couple have since decided to turn their tears into hope, by establishing a charity in honour of their son and by motivating and supporting others experiencing similar trauma resulting from the loss of a loved one. Their remarkable story will soon be available in book form.

A Life Altered: My journey from tears to hope was authored by Roshini and is in the final stages of being printed by Blue Lotus Publishers in Durban. “I’ve been doing so many presentations that I just decided to put it together and write the story,” said Roshini, a retired police officer with 27 years of service.

The road to recovery has been a long one for Roshini and Mark. Initially, they started the Sanjit Pakkiree Train of Hope Awareness Project in 2019. They named it after their son to honour Sanjit’s loving and caring personality and his ingrained desire to help others. The main focus of the project is to create awareness and help with matters that challenge many young people, from pre-school to high school age, as well as tangible assistance in the form of donations to those in need. 

In the meantime, Roshini also started to give motivational presentations to assist others battling with the same trauma. After one of these presentation, she got a call from Dr Anneline Chetty of the Turning Point organisation [an organisation that provides women with a platform to address past trauma]. Chetty asked Roshini if she would like to share her story at one of their Turning Point presentations, to which Roshini agreed.

This ultimately led to Roshini’s deciding to write down their story. “With this book, I went deeper into me and Mark’s story. I went very personal about what transpired from that day he died. Altogether, it is a 30-page book, but I did not want to stretch it further because I wanted it to be pure facts. I wanted each word to be the truth because that is the only way you can help somebody - to be honest. They must see what it is you went through. But it is not to say that what you are going through is by any means over. It is a back-and-forth roller-coaster, but you just keep going on. It is like incorporating the loss in your life, but not forgetting it,” said Roshini.

It took Roshini about four weeks to write the book, writing about a 1 000 words a day. Thereafter, it took about a week to put together. “I also included some motivational quotes and a tried to make is as authentic as I could,” said Roshini.

The response to the news of her book was overwhelming. “Everybody is asking for a copy of the book. But it wasn’t meant to be a money-making thing, it was just meant for purely what it is, the motivational aspect. If any money is to be made from the sale of the book, it will go back into our charity,” said Roshini. She added that they would let the public know as soon a hard copies of the book were available.

Regarding the Sanjit Pakkiree Train of Hope Awareness charity project, Roshini said that they did not ask for any donations. The project is funded through her and Mark, in conjunction with the couple’s business, Thohoyandou Beer Distributors. They have so far successfully funded five projects. Unfortunately, the Covid-19 pandemic has put a stop to their project but, said Roshini, they want to get going again soon.

Roshini and Mark are truly a “power couple” regarding motivating and caring for others. Fairly recently, they were both bestowed with honorary doctorates (not academic) by the Theophany University for the humanitarian work they are doing through the Sanjit Pakkiree Train of Hope Awareness Project.

A Life Altered: My journey from tears to hope is sure to inspire. The contents is best described by Roshini’s own synopsis of the book on the back page: “The loss of your child is an experience which is unfathomable. Day by day, the empty hollow feelings can cripple you emotionally. The focus of this story is about a couple whose life changes through tragedy, one that brought with it devastation yet transformed to hope. They describe their pain which ultimately turned to hope and a reason to pursue life again. Inspiration may be found in the most painful experiences.”




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Date:01 August 2021 - By: Andries van Zyl

Andries van Zyl

Andries joined the Zoutpansberger and Limpopo Mirror in April 1993 as a darkroom assistant. Within a couple of months he moved over to the production side of the newspaper and eventually doubled as a reporter. In 1995 he left the newspaper group and travelled overseas for a couple of months. In 1996, Andries rejoined the Zoutpansberger as a reporter. In August 2002, he was appointed as News Editor of the Zoutpansberger, a position he holds until today.

Email: andries@zoutnet.co.za


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