Surgical nurse

Glad of what has been achieved

Even though she is already 29, she has never been on holiday. Even though she has a secure job, she still lives with father and mother on just 40 square metres. And even though Bhagya, whose life this story is about, has – based on Central European standards – little scope for her own development, she says: “I am glad of what I have been able to achieve. However, I would not be as well off without the help that I received.” For 19 years, Bhagya attended various education facilities of our Indian wortundtat partners AMG – from kindergarten 1994 up to graduating from nursing school in 2013.

Bhagya explains why she wanted to become a nurse: “I thought it was really interesting to learn about scientific issues. I wanted to know everything about animals and plants and how the human body works.”

Bhagya explains why she wanted to become a nurse: “I thought it was really interesting to learn about scientific issues. I wanted to know everything about animals and plants and how the human body works.”

For some years now, she has been standing on her own feet. Currently she is earning about Euro 280 Euro a month, working as a nurse in a public hospital. This is significantly more than the average per-capita income in India; however, her salary has to support three people: her father, 58, can no longer work in his job. He is ill and his joints are worn out. “It had always been a challenge for him to provide enough food for us children”, she says. He sold sweets. He used his bike to get the merchandise from the “wholesaler” in the morning. Then he cycled as fast as he could to the street traders in the town to sell his sweets on. “But the other suppliers had motorbikes. They were always faster. Hence, most days he didn’t earn enough money for all of us. We children had enough to eat but only because our parents made sacrifices. Bhagya remembers that “to earn money for three meals was as good as impossible”.

26 Euro pension per month

Bhagya’s mother, 54, too has no opportunity to earn some extra money. She never attended school and has always been responsible for the home. Bhagya’s parents will only receive a state pension once they have reached 60. “Then each of them will get about 26 Euro a month. Hence, I will continue to support them in future”, she says.

When she was a child, Bhagya and her parents lived in a hut, which had a straw roof. Today, her salary enables her to rent a flat for herself and her parents.

When she was a child, Bhagya and her parents lived in a hut, which had a straw roof. Today, her salary enables her to rent a flat for herself and her parents.

Bhagya has two elder sisters. Both are married, have children and look after their family’s home. It is still quite common in India that women, after they have married, have to look after their husband’s family as well, whilst their own parents will be supported by their sons. If, as in Bhagya’s case, parents have no son, the responsibility falls to the unmarried daughter. For Bhagya it is a matter of course to support her parents. “I hope that I am able to look after my parents in years to come. I would like them to relax a bit and that they don’t need to work so hard any more”, she says.

Saving for the dowry

Of course she would like to find someone she can share her life with. That why she is always saving a small amount for her dowry. She says: “However, I will only get married if I find someone who understands that I want to be there for my parents”.

 

 

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