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Sunday, December 14, 2014

"Living my mother's dream"---Visiting NISHTHA in West Bengal #2

During this visit to NISHTHA villages, I wanted to visit one young girl in particular. 10 year old Joyeeta Biswas whose mother suddenly passed away, one month after I filmed a powerful interview with her in her village in November 2012. She was quite pregnant but looked healthy and beautiful. In her interview, she shared how growing guava was starting to make a profit. She also expressed her strong desire to raise her daughter Joyeeta with good education so that she can have much better life than her own. Ranu wanted Joyeeta to become independent. Joyeeta was eight years old then, a bit shy. The cause of Ranu's sudden death remains unclear, all we know is that she could not stop bleeding as she gave birth to a healthy son. She passed away while being carried away in an ambulance.

When we arrived at her home, I did not recognize Joyeeta, now ten years old and 5 inches or more taller! She was carrying her baby brother at her grandparents' home ground.

Since this tragedy happened, YGB has been supporting Joyeeta's education and health care. Today, Joyeeta is a very articulate young girl. She told us that this tragedy should have never happened and a child like her should have never been left behind like this. Despite of this traumatic experience, Joyeeta is doing extremely well at school and English is her most favorite subject. She is determined to become a doctor, because "This is my mother's dream. I want to live my mother's dream", Joyeeta expressed without any hesitation. She also said, "There is nobody who looks after the elderly here. I want to be a doctor for seniors."

Every morning and evening, Joyeeta prays for her mother, "Mother, I hope you are well. I am doing well."

Joyeeta with her grandparents and baby brother

After her mother's death, she has been in the care of her aunt and her grandparents. Recently her father got a better job, so NISHTHA hopes that he will look after Joyeeta's expenses next year. NISHTHA's social worker and village women group continue to monitor and support Joyeeta's well being to make sure that she will continue her education. Too often, girls who lose their mothers can be sent for child marriage or child labor, as they lose their protector in this region. Girls' education is still not a high priority in poor families. NISHTHA is keeping an eye on Joyeeta and YGB will continue to get updates from them. I hope to continue to visit Joyeeta on my visit here and hope YGB global family can help her reach her dreams!!

You can watch late Ranu Biswas' interview from 2010 in this YGB Film "Sister Aid: NISHTHA"

1 comment:

  1. How touching.. I always wondered how this little girl was doing after I saw the film. Happy to see she's doing good and so determined!