My husband had a government job as a bus mechanic. I have five children: two girls and three boys. My husband would never provide for the family and would use the money on alcohol instead. I had to take care of the children on my own, so I started selling snacks at a nearby market. Then I started also selling firewood in the market; I would climb up a hill everyday to collect it.
At one point, my husband wanted to discontinue education for my girls as he didn’t believe there was any point. We quarreled for days about it but at the end of the day, he was the head of the family; his word was the law. So my girls stopped going to school and stayed back to help at home. I continued to work, selling flower garlands and snacks. I was forced to sell my daughter’s school textbooks to pay for my boys’ education. But, by this time, they had decided that they wanted to stop their schooling and work; instead of using their salaries to help me, they turned out to be like their father: they spent it all on themselves. My husband, unfortunately, passed away of alcohol poisoning soon after.
I was worried about what would happen next as my husband was typically in charge of the affairs. However, my daughters attended the village meeting for the tailoring training at Aarti Home and enrolled themselves. This lead to me getting a job here too. I’ve now been the Head Cook at Aarti Home for nine years and have successfully gotten all my children married. My son’s wives are also employees at Aarti Home. Sandhyamma even allowed me to enroll my beautiful grandchildren into Aarti Home. I love the children at Aarti Home; they are my own children and I always indulge them with any food that they want. Sometimes I wish I knew about Aarti Home before, but Sandhyamma is my inspiration, and I am proud that my daughters are earning a good salary on their own.