Happy Women's Day: A Ray of Hope

Never one to shy away from making a sacrifice for those she loves, Kiran (name changed) has been an unwavering rock for her family over the years.

A household ripped away from its roots in Lahore, Kiran’s family was forced to migrate to Delhi via Amritsar at the time of Partition. Her father, who enjoyed the perks of being a railway employee in the pre-independence era, gathered his family and left under threat of life. They settled in one of the numerous resettlement camps established in Delhi at the time, and struggled to support themselves for lack of opportunity in their new surroundings.

Kiran’s father passed away when she was only 9, leaving a gaping void in her life as her father and only breadwinner of the house. Relatives chipped in regularly till her 4 brothers became old enough to get jobs. Though she was well educated, holding an MA, her family curtailed her freedom, refusing to allow her to work. Once her brothers got married, she suffered frequent emotional abuse from her sister-in-laws, a story that would repeat itself after her own marriage.

She decided with her husband on a clear division of labor; she would run the household, and he would earn to sustain it. She dealt with the toxic environment her in-laws created at home, toiling with an unflappable sense of duty. As fate would have it, things took a turn for the worse some 10 years ago. With unpaid loans and a virtually dead business, her husband became chronically depressed and made an attempt at his own life. She righted the boat with the help of her eldest son, working for years to get her husband back on his feet, while single handedly raising her two other children. She made sure their educational expenses were duly covered by previous savings, and ran a tight budget to keep the family afloat.

Her dedication and sacrifice has made possible today foreign educations for all her children, as well as a recovery to normalcy for her husband. She continues to be a ray of hope for all those around her.