As narrated to Aafrin Ansari and Nivedita Patil
“What we are is God’s gift to us. What we become is our gift to God.”
– Eleanor Powell
This quote is befitting for one of our arogya sakhi who works in Solapur village and provides home based care to pregnant women. We present to you her story.
More than a year ago, I was living an ordinary life. I thought that all I am meant to do is to- take care of my family, cook food, do household chores and my husband will be the breadwinner of the family.
My simple life underwent a transformation when I heard about the DFID Arogya Sakhi Home Based care project and enrolled to become an arogya sakhi. What a life changing decision that was!!
It was the most cherished moment of my life. It was during this project that I realised the amount of potential I possess. I had never ever thought that I had so many unidentified talents lying deep within me which were eagerly waiting to be unveiled and bring about a difference, a positive difference in my life. It has also been instrumental in changing the lives of other women around me.
There was enormous scope for learning during the training, during the review meetings, on the field; and at home. I think that after enrolling with the project, I have continuously learnt something new almost every day. Earlier I had never walked out of my village, but now I know every corner and street of the city of Solapur.
And the best part about the training was that it imparted knowledge on maternal and child health, which is a phase that every woman goes through at least once in her life. Knowledge once gained never goes waste as I shall be able to help many other women who are pregnant in my family and village by sharing whatever information I have learnt here.
In the beginning, everything seemed difficult and new and many a times I had the thought of leaving this job, but I remained patient and slowly I gained interest. Once I built a rapport with all the village women and others, I began enjoying my job. And I believe no matter what job you do, big or small, at the end you should feel happy of what you are doing, and if you can take back that small happiness home from your work, then there is no comparison to that.
Now, I stand as a completely changed woman- more confident, more positive, no fear of talking to or meeting new people. In fact I have decided to complete my education, so I have already applied in Yashwant Rao University for BA.
I owe my sincere gratitude to Uma and Vaishali (field team) for their constant support and also the team of ARMMAN for giving me a new life. I wish them all the best and hope that they go on and work in many other villages. Who knows there may be other women whose lives can be transformed by ARMMAN.