A New Beginning
Vanishree was sent to school till Std. IX. She was married and had two children when her husband left her. She had to fend for herself and the children. With no education, no skills and no exposure, she had no choice but to return to her parents’ home and depend on her aging father to continue supporting her. Her story so far finds thousands of echoes all over the country. But it didn’t end in the usual way. Vanishree may have been resigned to her own fate, but she was anxious about the future of her children. She decided to take matters into her own hands. She approached ANEW and signed up for the nursing course in 2010. Not only was she given training in nursing, she was also counselled, helping her get rid of her emotional baggage, and giving her confidence to face the world. “I have also done the refresher course. I have handled elders, children and adults, both men and women, who need care. ANEW ensures the safety of us nurses. Today I can go to any place my work takes me to,” says a confident Vanishree. Her life has truly begun anew.
Not just a number on a page of statistics
Her strength is her patience, which makes her popular among her patients and their families. She’s yet another iteration of the familiar story of abandoned wife with a young child to support, but she’s more than a mere statistic because of the services she renders. “My skills, my sense of hygiene and my patience are the reasons why my employers want me to continue. I have served two to three years on an average in every household where I was called to provide care,” Karthishwari says proudly. Her seven-year-old son is studying in a good school, and her work helps maintain the standards. More than just performing the basic duties, over the years, Karthishwari says she has learnt many things on the job. She has handled patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease. “They are very difficult to manage. In fact, the doctor of one of my patients wanted to see me because the patient could get violent. The doctor asked me how I managed at such times. I told him I would wait quietly for the man to calm down. The doctor was impressed and told me that was the right way to deal with such patients,” she says with quiet pride. She is grateful to ANEW for having given her not only training, but hope and encouragement to become independent and financially secure.
Living Life on Her Own Terms
Bright and chirpy, Mohana is a picture of confidence. Her smile and sparkling eyes belie the fact that there was a time a decade ago when she was down and uncertain of the course her life would take. She had left her husband because of a breach of trust and returned to her maternal home. A relative had done a computer course at ANEW and brought her in. “Initially I came to learn driving, but because my family was not keen, I did home nursing training,” she recalls. However, after completing the training, she realised it was really worth doing service. She now excels in providing geriatric care for both men and women and is ready to face all the challenges that the job poses. What is most noticeable is her ability to understand life and imbibe qualities that would help her live with dignity. She is thankful to “Subbaiyan Sir” for his constant support to help her make the right decisions in life.
4.Nirmala Steps Out
New Year 2010 will forever remain etched in Nirmala’s memory. That was the day she lost her husband in a tragic accident. She was left alone to bring up their three-yearold daughter. For three months, Nirmala remained confined to her home, unwilling to face the bleak future. But she pulled herself together, realizing that she had to ensure that her daughter had a good future. She herself had studied only up to Std X, and she knew that she had to give her child a good education. But education costs money, and for that, Nirmala would have to work. ANEW proved to be the stepping stone to a career. She underwent the nursing course, and has been working ever since. Nirmala handles all kinds of patients, young and old, and in various states of health. She says she has learnt many things on the job. The most important lesson that Nirmala learnt at ANEW, she says, is the need to save and ensure financial security for the future. She has taken the lesson to heart and spends only on bare essentials. She says she has the satisfaction of seeing her savings grow each month!