We take a lot of pride in stating our opinions about politics in India and preaching here and there. However, how many of us are actually wiling to change the shape of country at grass root level? You can literally count them on fingers, and yet they remain the unsung heroes, why unsung because it does not look sexy and intellectual to talk about them and it does not make you famous on social media.
Let me take you through the journey of one such unsung ‘heroine’. However, before going ahead, for a moment imagine you are 17 years old born in a remote rural part of India, fatherless and on the verge of getting married!
Her name is Asha and today she is at the hospital for her third abortion. Needless to mention she has undergone this trauma all alone two times before as well to hide it from her husband. Cursing her fate, as she is feeling helpless. However, she has to move on because she has two kids waiting at home for her to feed them, love them. You must have imagined the role of her husband by now. Yes, he is hardly earning anything and whatever he earns spends on alcohol.
There was a point of time in her life when she thought it better to commit suicide than to lead a life like this. But not to forget she has a heart of a mother and a lot of strength to survive and fight. Fed up with the abuse at home from her husband and never ending humiliation to beg for money, she started learning stitching at a NGO. Later on, she joined government vocational training institute to further her skills and gradually started tailoring as a means of income. She started taking on work from the local community and bought herself a sewing machine with her meagre savings.
Nevertheless, deep inside looking at other women in the community she can see an abuse in their eyes; mental, physical and health. Since nobody talks about it makes it even more severe. So it was during her third abortion that the local ANM (Auxiliary Nurse Midwife) worker there counseled her about family planning measures which she can adopt discreetly and also inspired her to join as an ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activist) worker.
Having faced the adversity she found this call so compelling that she enthusiastically worked hard without any pay for nine months. Simultaneously, she kept working as a tailor to fulfill her household duties. Currently, she is a full time ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activist) worker spreading awareness about family planning amongst women. She does it for the sake of humanity for meagre 2000 Rupee a month. Clearly, money is not a driver, but a passion to make somebody’s life better. There are a many such unsung heroes around us doing this job thanklessly day in day out. Adversity has made them humble rather mean.
She draws inspiration from her daughter, who has been a constant source of support and strength in her times of need. In addition, because she does not want her to suffer what she has undergone.
Based on a true story of:
Occupation: Asha Worker
Native of Dausa, Rajasthan