BRIDGE Resilience Awards

Sudha Murty, the chairperson of Infosys Foundation
Lissy receiving the ACT BRIDGE Resilience Award from Sudha Murty, the chairperson of Infosys Foundation at a function in Bengaluru

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From Darkness to Light

For Lissy, life was a bed of roses that turned into a bed of thorns overnight.  The light of her life, her industrious husband who would wake up early in the morning and make the rounds to deliver newspapers before returning home at around 8 and then have his breakfast with their three children – daughter doing her 1 PUC, sons studying in Class 10 and Class 7 – and then drop them to their schools on his bike, had made his final round that day when a truck knocked him down and sped away at a lonely stretch leaving him dead.

She found herself shouldering the responsibility of her family — finding funds to facilitate her children’s studies and repaying the housing loan, besides of course meeting the daily needs of the family.

She knew the sympathetic faces all around her meant just that: sympathetic faces. She had to gather herself and look for ways to keep the flock together. When she thought of the responsibilities ahead, the education of her children, repaying the family loans, meeting the medical bills of herself and her mom-in-law, she felt the world spinning around her. Making it worse was the fact that her eldest daughter had stopped talking to anyone due to the trauma. She would just sit in a corner of her house brooding. For a few weeks there were a few relatives and friends who would come home to spend some time with the family. Soon their numbers dwindled.

She realised she had to act and no longer remain in mourning at least for the sake of her children. She decided to pick up the pieces. She found out that they had a housing loan outstanding of Rs 11 lakh and a farm loan of Rs 3 lakh. All that she had was Rs 3.6 lakh donated by the village well-wishers after her husband’s death. She took her daughter for counseling which lasted for months. 

Now the bills started piling up and banks sent notices. She approached the banks with a request to waive the farm loan or at least the accumulated interest but to no avail. She had to choose between educating her children and making ends meet and repaying the loan.

She had a small job in a local coop bank earning about Rs 400 a day which the benign management raised to Rs 500 a day. Trusting everything in the hands of God, she fought the odds. And survived.

A few years down the line, today she is happy her eldest daughter has completed her graduation and has begun her PG classes. The second son has completed graduation in visual communication and the third has just entered college.

Lissy is a more confident person today, thanks also to the efforts of BRIDGE which not only provides for the family but also checks on them and makes them feel that they are not alone and that they have the BRIDGE family to count on. Says she, “It is after BRIDGE entered our lives that we felt that we have some people to call our own and share our problems with. We are looking forward to life with renewed hopes.”

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