Orphaned girls in dire need of a helping hand

Orphaned girls in dire need of a helping hand
Highlights

Life calls for compromises.  When Fate delivers a deadly blow, it can shatter a family; yet, nothing happens to the human spirit if a member of the family, instead of feeling victimized, takes it in her stride with exemplary courage and confidence.

Vizianagaram: Life calls for compromises. When Fate delivers a deadly blow, it can shatter a family; yet, nothing happens to the human spirit if a member of the family, instead of feeling victimized, takes it in her stride with exemplary courage and confidence. The quintessence of such a robust spirit is that of Malleswari, a teen on whose shoulders now lies the responsibility of running a family of five after the loss of its breadwinners.

The family members detest July 30th, 2016 like anything. For, that was the day when destiny dealt a devastating blow to a poor toddy tapper’s family, claiming the lives of the bread-winning couple in a span of just one hour, while leaving four teenaged girls orphaned. That is not all.
The girls were left to fend for themselves in their hovel located amidst a snake-infested garden.

The eldest of the girls, Malleswari (18), is gutsy. She has left no stone unturned to take reasonable care of the rest of the family, comprising two of her sisters as well as aged grandparents, including one visually challenged.

Malleswari toils to fill the void caused by the death of her parents. For this, she has started doing all kinds of labour, be it wielding a crowbar, ploughing a field, serving as farmhand in cotton field or wielding a mason’s trowel – just about anything to make both ends meet. She mothers her younger sisters and nurses their grandparents.

It was jaundice that claimed the lives of the toddy tapper and his wife, Gampa Ramu and Gampa Papa, residents of Yata Veedhi of Gangachollapenta in Gajapatinagaram mandal of the district. The couple leave behind four children, of whom the eldest one, Nagamani, was married off. The others are: Malleswari (18), Lakshmi (16) and Manga (12).

Gampa Papa died while undergoing treatment at the district headquarters government hospital in Vizianagaram. Her husband breathed his last during treatment in a private hospital in Visakhapatnam. The family incurred expenditure totaling Rs 90,000 for his treatment. To get Ramu’s body released from the hospital, Malleswari borrowed Rs 40,000 and paid the bill.

Not the one to be cowed down by blows that fate inflicts, Malleswari today cheerfully caters to the needs of her younger sisters a la her parents, who, despite abject poverty, took ample care of the children, apart from attending to the needs of their ailing and incapacitated grandparents.

Malleswari had to discontinue studies to support the distressed family. Her sister, Lakshmi, followed suit, though she wants to pursue education and pick up from where she left if only some philanthropists come to aid of the family.

What is worrying them most now is the ugly fact that their ill-equipped house is located at the end of the street and has no door. The girls dread the visits of strangers and are apprehensive of being attacked by robbers. Worse still is their occasional encounters with snakes as their dwelling is surrounded by weeds-infested gardens. The least the girls need now is a door to secure their home.

When this correspondent took the plight of the young girls to the notice of the district TDP organising secretary and the Ravi Swarajyam Charitable Trust, some help came their way. Ravi Sridhar volunteered to provide Rs 5,000 a month to the family and offered to take care of the medical, health and education needs of the family.

TDP training classes’ Director Kalisetty Appalanaidu also assured the family of his support and offered to bring their case to the notice of Minister Lokesh.

By P Nagaraju

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