Escaping the caste – Father’s death opens up new opportunity
Korivi Pushpa Latha is the daughter of a coolie – a day worker. He had no land, worked for others when they needed an extra pair of hands and was otherwise trying to feed his family. The same fate was already mapped out for Pushpa. Then in 1994, her father died.
“When father passed away, we had no idea where to go on from here. My mother, my brother and I were really hard up. But then mother came in to contact with AMG India and we were able to go to school rather than having two work. During the two years after father’s death I went to the AMG Junior College in Chilakaluripet and was able to train as a nurse”, says Pushpa.
“Education is the only way for people to manage to escape the Indian caste system, which divides them into firmly established groups. These groups are often associated with certain professional activities. Children of coolies also become coolies, unless they have a good school leaving qualification, which enables them to find their way out of the caste system. Our aim is to help the poorest families here in India”, explains Arun Kumar Mohanty, Director of AMG.
Today, Pushpa is in charge of the gynaecology and maternity ward in a private clinic in Hyderabad. “I don’t earn very much but it is enough”, she says. Based on our currency, she gets 165 Euros a month, for which she works six to eight hours a day, six times a week, 52 weeks a year. Because her boss has given her the day off for a change, she is able to go on the eight-hour bus journey from Hyderabad to Chilakaluripet to take part in the school celebrations on the AMG Campus. Just like her former school friend Rama Krishna, she too gives part her income to AMG. Pushpa: “The AMG was there when we needed it. Now I want to give something back”.