On Women’s Day, they look back on a year that made them more stronger

S. Amuthvalli helps contribute to her family’s income by selling porridge in front of the Tiruchi Corporation office.   | Photo Credit: M. Moorthy

It has been a difficult year for people and more so working women whose source of income almost came to a standstill. On the occasion of International Women's Day, some women recollect the year that went by.

It has been a hard grind for S. Amuthavalli, a 70-year-old woman, who sells Kambu Koozhu outside the Tiruchi City Corporation office on Bharathidasan Salai. She has been manning the pushcart since 2009 when she decided to set up shop after the death of her husband. “I have two children who are also struggling financially. To help contribute, I began selling koozhu”, she said.

She begins making the porridge as early as 6 a.m. so that she can set up shop by 10 am. She stays till 3 p.m. daily. “There are people who drink koozhu for breakfast and even at lunchtime,” she says. For her lunch, she brings food packed in a small tiffin box from home.

Her shop reopened on February 1, after being closed for nearly a year.

“My son had to take care of us and it was a big burden for him. I set up shop again so that I could help him in a small way,” she said

S. K. Jayabharathi, Nursing Superintendent at the Tiruchi Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Government Hospital has over 30-years of experience. Though, she has a team of 200 nurses, she takes on all the work herself. “Till I have strength left in my body, I will work for the welfare of the people,” she said. Even when she was quarantined at home after being diagnosed with COVID-19, she continued to monitor her team on the phone, doctors say. She even spent three months of her salary to purchase necessities for her staff who were also affected by the viral infection. “Everything I do, I do to see people happy. There is nothing more fulfilling in the world,” she said.

A traffic policewoman requesting anonymity said that working night shifts and away from home prepared her to handle obstacles in life. “Women must learn to be independent. We must all prepare to be bold and strong, for our own well-being,” she said. “During the COVID-induced lockdown, some nights I had to sleep in a different room from my children. It was very difficult, but it was a learning experience and I learned to be strong,” she said.

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Printable version | Apr 17, 2021 11:30:35 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/on-womens-day-they-look-back-on-a-year-that-made-them-more-stronger/article34020095.ece

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