Beating the odds for a better future – True story of a heroic mother
It’s been said that a mother’s love knows no limits. Read this inspiring story of a mother who fought her way out of slavery so that she could give her children a better life.
As a mother, you have experienced your fair share of challenges. From nourishing your child and planning for school, to juggling the work-home balance or saving on a single income – every step is a small victory, a lesson to be learned and shared.
The picture shifts slightly for a rural Asian mother. Her victories in the face of socio-economic limitation offer a different kind of lesson. She has to brave the odds as she builds a better tomorrow for her children, her family.
Singapore-based crowdfunding website, Milaap.org, has been working with some of these rural mothers. They exemplify the strength motherhood brings every woman. This Women’s Day, we bring you the true, inspiring story of one such mother: Mahananda Metri.
When Mahananda was 16, her mother fell ill. Her uncles helped pay the medical bills, which amounted to Rs. 3,000 – that’s approximately S$66. Young Mahananda could not possibly repay her uncles, so they made her a Devadasi (temple slave) to recover their money. Their decision would have sealed her fate.
Being made a Devadasi meant that Mahananda and any children she would have were doomed to a sub-human life of slavery and exploitation. But she fought back.
Read on for Mahananda’s powerful and inspiring story on the next page.
Watch the video for Mahananda’s story of enslavement, escape, and triumph.
It has been a year since this video was made. Today, Mahananda’s older daughter Rekha is completing her Pre-University Science course, and aims for a career in medicine. Puja, her younger daughter, has yet to decide her goals. They were accepted to the Morarji Residential School, where they studied free of charge.
But with their college education coming up, Mahananda now needs to earn more. So she trains 10 other Devadasis who aspire for independence, charging them each a monthly fee of Rs. 100 (S$2.20). She also works on farms all morning, because in their remote village, work and income from tailoring is not always enough.
Mahananda is living testament to the power of a mother’s love. She started with nothing, and was constantly pushed back by society. But she never gave up, and now, her daughters have a good life.
As mothers, we know all too well the daily struggles that go into giving our children a decent future. There are thousands others like us, answering our innate call to build a better world for our children.
This Women’s Day, Milaap and theAsianparent is making a difference in the lives of mothers like Mahananda. We are helping rural mothers in India to grow as entrepreneurs – and you can help too!
Here’s all you need to do: