A slum dweller of Asha’s Seelampur slum community- Pooja has seen and heard stories of people dying to either the negligence by hospital staff or due to the inaccessibility of health centres in her village.
“I was visiting my grandparents in a village of Uttar Pradesh when I saw a Nurse ill-treating one amongst the pregnant ladies who were asked to stand in long queues out in the sun. The callous attitude of the hospital staff imprinted on my mind which I brought back home,” says Pooja.
Pooja was a little bright child when she first came across Asha. She was enrolled at Asha’s Bal Mandal (Children’s Association). Looking at the Community Health Volunteers toiling every day for the well-being of their fellow dwellers; pooja grew unusual inclination towards nursing. Her peer group and the Asha Team, favouring her idea of pursuing an undergraduate program of Nursing, pushed her forward.
With the help of all the scholastic materials and mock tests conducted by the Asha Ambassadors, she scored really well in class-12.
However, the poor financial situation in the family was a big challenge for her to continue higher education as her father earns an unfixed salary of ₹ 7000 ($ 101.95/ £ 81.77) per month to feed seven in the family. Coupled with that, the environment and the mindset of the community was very hostile and presented huge challenges for Pooja to continue her studies. Yet, Pooja didn’t leave the hands of Asha and expressed her will to go further. With the help of the team, she got her family convinced and took admission in a Nursing Course.
Asha team also arranged for an education loan from the bank by acting as a facilitator so that pooja could finance her studies. She will repay her loan in instalments on completion of her studies. Pooja is really excited to pursue this course which will enable her to stand on her own feet and also take care of her family. Moreover, she feels that her training in Nursing has made her a sensitive and better human being. The attitude of her family, as well as the community, has also changed, and she is treated with dignity and respect.
“I can never forget how Asha pushed me to pursue my dreams. My father, a seasonal wager (House-Painter), now proudly tells about me wherever he works,” signed off Pooja turning back to her patient.
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