Glad of what has been achieved
Bhagya is a modest and undemanding woman: she has never been on holiday, lives with her father and mother on 40 square metres and looks after her parents without complaining. Thus, one believes it when 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. ”wortundtat could help her get that far. For 19 years, Bhagya attended various education facilities of our Indian wortundtat partner AMG – from kindergarten 1994 up to graduating from nursing school in 2013. For some years now, she has been standing on her own feet.
Thanks to her training she has been able to make a career very quickly: From being a nurse in an AMG hospital via nursing teacher and finally surgery nurse in a public hospital. This position is well paid and offers some additional benefits, which do not exist in private clinics. She is currently earning significantly more than the average per head income in India, which enables her to provide for herself and her parents.
The parent’s pension relieves the family budget
For some time her father has not been able to work in his job anymore. He is ill and his joints are worn out. “It had always been a challenge for him to provide enough food for us children”, Bhagya 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”.
Bhagya’s mother too has no opportunity to earn some extra money. She never attended school and has always been responsible for the home. After all: her parents will soon receive a state pension. This will be a welcome addition to Bhagya’s family budget.
Partners for life
For Central Europeans, the still widespread custom in India that unmarried women like Bhagya look after their parents alone even though she has two sisters, is quite unusual. Both sisters are married, have children and care for the homes of their new families. According to his custom, once they are married they share the responsibility for their husband’s family. For Bhagya it is yet 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 anymore”, she says modestly. 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”.
We don’t want to look away
“We always see unfamiliar things when our Central European eyes look at other cultures”, says Jakob Adolf, wortundtat project coordinator. Of course one is entitled to ask the question why in India old customs still determine how people live their lives and why the government apparently does so little to intervene.
However, in its capacity as a Christian aid organisation, wortundtat would look at things from a different angle: “When Bhagya was small, here parents suffered real hardship. We observed this hardship. Of course we could have said: ‘This has nothing to do with us. It is up to the Indians to sort this out.’ But as Christians, we did not want to look the other way. Hence, the girl got a school education and once she had become an adult, a job. Now she is able to care for herself and her parents instead of being forced to join them in the streets to beg. We are convinced that the effort has been worth it.”
With your donation for our schools in India you can help people like Bhagya’s parents to ensure that their children get a good education.