Saturday, 10 November 2012

Facing Challenges 24 x 7 - Inspiring Stories 5: Archana Mhaiskar

As a young bride ……
Filled with dreams and enthusiasm for future, a young Archana entered into married life with Vijay. What she did not know, was that, she was slyly being deceived into a partnership which would bring only misery and pain.  Her in-laws suppressed the fact that her husband was terminally ill.  It was after some months into marriage that she came to know about it.

Bristling with silent anger, she decided to face life in whatever constructive way as possible.  She helped her husband in illness, took him to hospital.  She had conceived already, gave birth to  a son, but decided not to have further issues.

When her husband died …..
“I had developed fondness for my husband and was still in shock at his demise. 
I was in for further shock when my in-laws asked me to hand over the child to them and leave.”

"I thought, enough of injustice from these people.” 

“I fought with my in-laws and got to stay on after partitioning the house.”  

“I could do this because I was armed with information given at camps held by Chetana-Vikas about my legal rights, property rights.”

 “I had no money, I was doing odd jobs as an agriculture labourer and was living hand to mouth.”

“My friends, women members of our Self Help Group,  used to help me with small loans which were used up for every day living only.  Seeing my integrity and honesty, they then recommended my name for getting a loan of higher amount.”

Archana's friends in SHG examining the material bought from the loan amount
“I have come to know that,  this was made possible because of your support”.

“I am happy to tell you that with this money I could set up a small shop at home.” 

Archana's shop
“My villagers like many different type of things. So I decided to stock up an variety of things like stationery, sarees (an Indian attire), various cloth materials, inexpensive artificial jewelry etc. I even sold the miniature Indian Flag on our independence day.”

Archana at her sewing machine

“I go to the fields at 10 am and come back at 6 pm.  There was still time on hand while waiting for customers. I decided to buy a sewing machine.”   

“Due to budget constraints, I bought a second hand machine within the same loan amount.  Now, on an average, I can stitch 2 cloth materials a day.  My son helps me in tending to customers when he is free.” 
Archana and her son tending to their customers
“Now with some steady and extra income, slowly my life has started picking up. I can now start hoping for a future and also a decent education to my child.”

“ I will continue to fight for myself, my son & my house.”

Archana  Mhaiskar is from village Pimpalgaon Lute.  In her life of 32 years, she is facing challenges 24 x 7.  Instead of moping over her sorrows, she is willing and eager to meet these challenges. 

Appropriate support whenever and wherever needed helps her to go ahead confidently.
We once again call out to continue helping women like Archana who are ready to meet such challenges, by providing opportunities.

The upcoming "Festival of Deepawali"  would be a good opportunity to spread the light.  Please tell your circle of friends and relatives about

Thank you !

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