“After marriage people in my community addressed me as the wife of Rajesh – today they know me by my name.” – Rina Gupta, Community Centre Hazra
In November 2009, Rina’s husband was going to visit her at her parents’ home in Subhasgram. On the way, at Sonarpur station he was pushed out of the moving train by the surging crowds. Rajesh lost his right leg and hand in the train accident which left him and his family devastated forever.
Rina states, “After eight months, the wounds healed but the scars remained.”
It was her family, friends and relatives who constantly encouraged her and supported her during her struggles, in whatever little way they could.
Help came in the form of Mahavir Seva Sadan, a local NGO who provided Rajesh with artificial limbs free of cost.
Armed with his new limbs Rajesh began gaining confidence once again and wanted to get back to his job of driving an auto rickshaw. Once again one of the neighbors rose to the occasion and came forward. This neighbor agreed to give out his auto for driving for half a day.
Rina says, “Now, Rajesh is able to lead a normal life with the good wishes and support of neighbors, relatives and other well-wishers.”
In 2010, whilst the Field officers of Children International-SAHAY were visiting the area, they came upon Rina and her family and at once enrolled her daughter Ritika into the programme. Ritika studies in grade III.
When Rina began visiting the Community Centre with her daughter for various updates and photography sessions she began to observe other regular activities involving children.
This gave her an idea and one day she asked the staff members how could she associate herself and help others with all the work which went on. Thus began her journey as a volunteer.
Daily Rina devotes two to three hours of the afternoon to the work of Children International-SAHAY. She distributes appointment slips and cooks for malnourished children attending the nutrition programme.
In addition to her volunteering her time she completes her daily routine of getting her daughter ready for school, preparing breakfast, completing her domestic chores at home, dropping and picking her daughter from school. She also does outsourced stitching work given by various tailors in her community and area.
She sums up by saying, “Working and spending time with children gives me immense pleasure and I am proud to be associated with the organization as one of its volunteers.”
Rina Gupta is a volunteer with Children International-SAHAY an NGO which works with over 26,000 children in several districts of West Bengal