Varalu has proved most responsible. Her way with children has
made Eashwaramma's grandson Sasi improve his reading skills considerably. She is firm, without once raising her voice. Sasi now says he will learn only from her. The small stipend we have arranged for her allows her to get her milk for her children, and has brought a smile on her face When she helps other children like Sasi, she does not allow her own worries interfere. Her husband abandoned her when she was pregnant, and she has to singly bring up her three children. She is herself in her twenties.
The village children are all anaemic, and milk, with an ayurvedic medicine, is given to all the children by Varalu daily. Our ayurvedic doctor has told us that the difference will be very visible in a month. We hope so ... and then the people may turn to, and benefit from, the immense possibilities of ayurveda.
The beehives have been installed in Varalu's, Eashwaramma's ,Annapurna's and Kala's houses. They are looking after them responsibly, and we hope that though there is drought, the sugar water they are offering the bees will see them through. There is mango flower, and we hope that they flourish.
Eashwaramma asks if she also can sell tamarind like Annapurna to the organic shops. People want work, and empoyment, and we are unable to show them all ways.
The village children are regaining health rapidly - but the people need to step out of poverty, and themselves afford milk for their children.
Varalu has finally moved out of her brother's house with her three small children. That is a good thing, as being an unwelcome guest there was bad for her and the children. But now the upkeep of the three children is on her. She is growing in confidence as she earns a small sum towards her needs. With much care she teaches Sasi and boils and gives milk to all the children, and is paid for this. Kala, Munneshwari and others also need to be enabled to start earning more in these hard times to assure their children's well being. In the presence of drunk husbands, these frail women keep the home hearths burning.
Annapurna and Varalu have finally procured the tomatoes to make the pickles, which they will bring to Chennai to sell. A small investment is also unnerving for them ... and I had to force a 'loan' on them to overcome the nervousness and start the 'entrepreuner' effort.
Annapurna is packing her tamarind for the reStore shop. Others also wish to sell outside for a better price - we need to find the markets. Annapurna has finally opened a personal savings for herself. Otherwise as she is living with her brother's family since her husband abandoned her she has felt obliged to earn for their expenses.
Sasi, Eashwaramma's grandson, is taller and a kg heavier since he started the milk and ashwagandhadhi, and under Varalu's tutelage is reading well enough for me not to worry about when he goes into the 6th middle school next year. Eashwaramma, with much pleasure, took the money sent by her kind friend towards the roof of her houe, and has immediately ordered the bricks and cement ...