The Fighter

Devishala had to face many struggles in life, but she decided that she had to move on. Today, she manages her family and two kids all alone.

This story is about my cooking maid Devishala, who despite all her struggles in life is managing her family and two kids all alone. Devishala is educated till the 12th grade and was married post her 12th exams, at a very young age. She was brilliant in studies, but wasn’t allowed to study further, as her family pressurized her to get married. After marriage, she shifted to Mumbai with her husband. She was a mother of two at the age of 20, an age at which people like us would still be studying. Soon after having two kids, her husband left her. Devishala was broken and shattered as she had to manage all the expenses and her kids, on her own. She struggled and came back to Pune.

She went to her mother and brother, who were her only hope. She was not earning and her brother was the only earning member in the family. She realised that her brother's income was not sufficient to meet the daily expenses, and somewhere in her mind she had decided that she had to move on. She had to ensure that her kids do not go through the same things as her. She wanted to give her kids (daughter and son) the best education and all facilities, which never got. As she did not complete her graduation, she was not able to get any good job. She knew spoken English a little and used to understand English as well. But this was not enough for her to get a good job, as she did not have basic educational qualifications.

Later, she found out that in a nearby society, someone required a caretaker for a one-year-old child. This was a challenge, as she herself had two small kids and being a caretaker was a 10-hour job, for five days a week. But money was the need of the hour and she would get paid Rs.8,000 per month, which would have played a major role in taking care of herself and her two kids. She took up this job and used to leave her own kids with her mother. Besides that, she also started taking up small small jobs like stitching, alteration, etc. to get extra money. She soon took a new home on rent and also ensured that both her children got admission in a government school.

She realized the true meaning of being financially independent. She opened a bank account and kept on depositing money which she used to get on a monthly basis from her jobs. Since commuting to school was becoming difficult for her kids, she also bought a second hand scooter. She was able to do all this with her own hard-earned money. Today, she is earning around Rs.20,000 a month from her cooking jobs. Her day starts early at 5am and ends at 12 am, at midnight. But if you see her or meet her, she won't look tired at all. With an ever smiling face and shine in her eyes, she is a perfect example of how challenges can be overcome, if you have a strong will power. To me, she is a fighter and a true inspiration to girls from poor families, who give up easily in difficult conditions. She is also a perfect example of what a person can achieve, if self determination is there.

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