“When you come to the end of your rope, tie and knot and hang on.”- Franklin D. Roosevelt
Piyari belongs to a poor family near SOS Children’s Village Jaipur. A strong and determined woman, she was always hopeful for a better future for her children and worked hard day and night to make their dreams come true. She is a single mother, who lost her husband to a prolonged illness a few years back. As much as she was preparing herself for this day, the loss of her loved one costed her more than she could imagine. After the death of her husband, it became almost impossible to even feed her children twice a day, let alone fulfil their other needs. Helpless with this financial crunch, she was left with no option but to have her two sons drop out from school.
Piyari lived in a small rented room with her four children. Because of not being able to provide nutritious meals to her children every day, their immunity levels dropped drastically and they started to fall ill more often. One day on her way to the market, Piyari met with a social worker, who then told her about SOS India’s Family Strengthening Programme (FSP). While Piyari hesitated at first to enrol in the programme, she then convinced herself to take a leap of faith, since she had nothing to lose. On becoming a part of the FSP, she was made part of an existing Self-Help Group (SHG), where she started learning many things on handling finances, loans and investments. She was attending meetings every alternate day that not only gave her confidence but also made her realise that she was not alone in this rat race of life.
She recollects, “My life was terrible before and I felt trapped. Going to these meetings made me feel like I had an outlet for my feelings and emotions, a place where I felt I belonged; I have started to feel better not just about my life but myself.”
With the support of the FSP, Piyari opened a laundry and vegetable shop. While she was slowly getting a hang of all these new developments, her children also resumed their studies. Today, she is earning well from both her shops and her children attend school regularly; she is happy with the way her life is progressing.
She says, “Today, I can say that I am self-reliant. I can take good care of my children and for this, I can’t thank the members of my SHG enough. Their encouragement is the reason why I could start a business of my own and keep up with it. Now, I feel that I am better prepared to face any difficulty in life.”