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Our Angels: Puja

This International Nurses Day we are giving a big shout-out to all the nurses taking care of us. Thank you for your care and dedication.

Puja grew up in an Ahmednagar's Ramvadi slum in the shadows of Snehalaya's Balbhavan. Her father is a daily wage worker and alcoholic, while her mother works as a housemaid. Since early childhood, Puja has been studying in our Balbhavan while her mother has single-handedly bore the burden of supporting her husband and three daughters. She lives in constant worry as her husband sells their meagre possessions for money to buy alcohol. Despite all this, she wanted her daughters to be educated and is in constant contact with Veena Madam and our other Balbhavan teachers.

The young Puja lived in solitude, forgetting to talk, chat, laugh or play with anyone. Developing social skills is an important aspect of development which are taught in our Balbhavan, where we encourage children to appreciate the skills of playing, living, visiting, asking questions, and discussing with other children.

Soon Puja was joining in with every activity of our Balbhavan and with a desire to give to others she began teaching gardening. She was brilliant in her school studies and as she grew up consistently participated in our teenage program. She helped us raise awareness about education and motivated younger boys and girls to study, taking part in the Payal Sarda Program.

She was convinced that education was essential to alleviate her mother's grief and improve her family’s financial situation. On rainy and stormy days, she feared her leaky home would fall down, but still she continued studying. She has a lot of perseverance.

It paid off. Puja passed her SSC with 72%. Confused of where to go next, she sought the advice of our Paris Balbhavan staff, who enrolled her to study commerce in 11 std. She passed 12 Std with good marks but again was confused about her further education.

Our team shared information about vocational course options, and she chose nursing. She started her course but the Rs 50-60 per day travel expenses involved in getting to college was beyond her family’s means and she considered dropping out. When we heard about this, we offered to help her cover her travel costs and she is now in her second year of nursing and caring for patients. We will continue to support her in her dreams of becoming a qualified nurse every step of the way.

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