I want to dedicate this month for inspiring women in my life. when I think of women - a lot of them come to my mind, especially those with whom I closely interact and keep meeting them often, either because of my work that gives me the space or sometimes in a social gathering where in I come across women who are so courageous and at other times, I meet them in my own counselling centre, they never fail to motivate and energize me. I am grateful to all the women in my life; and specially those who have shown great courage to fight all odds and continue to live with hope and optimism.
In one of my usual visit, I observed saritha (name changed) who came to the centre for counselling; married at an early age and within one year, conceived and came to the PPTCT(Prevention of Parent to Child Testing) centre, for ANC (Antenatal Care) where she was sent for HIV testing. (HIV testing is mandatory for all pregnant women)
Saritha was found HIV positive; she was very angry, upset, and felt cheated by her husband. When the husband was called for testing; he refused to come, instead fought with saritha; argued and blamed her for the status, stating that it’s her problem and she needs to deal with it;
Saritha was devastated and with great difficulty and courage fought with him and his family, but did not succeed; her husband left her to her fate and moved on with another women. She was thrown out of the house, because she was found HIV positive; and nobody was willing to take her even from her family side. Being an orphan and brought up by the aunt and uncle, she did not know what to do, as she loved children, she chose to continue her pregnancy till the ninth month, unfortunately saritha gave birth to a still born child.
The death of the child caused severe distress…. despite all these problems, she never gave up; she is full of optimism and cheerfulness and visits the ART regularly for medicines. (Anti retroviral Treatment), she visits the counsellor regularly at the Government hospital. The last time I saw her, she was full of enthusiasm saying that she wants to move ahead in life, and does not want to live in the past.
I salute saritha for her determination to fight facing discrimination and humiliation only because she is HIV positive, and that too which is not her fault. She works hard as a domestic help and makes a living; there are so many saritha’s who become victims without their faults. when I thought of this lady and the kind of problems she was facing, my problems appeared so small and insignificant. I appreciated saritha for touching my life, showing me that no matter how broken we are; we can always start afresh, leaving the past behind and focussing on the present, and taking charge of our lives....
May this post inspire you !