Sharana creates stories every day. People are changing other peoples lives. Here you find some of this stories of lives. The stories of Dinesh, Prabhavathy, Anbazhagan, Gayathri, Gayathri, Lakshmi:
Prabhavathy, who is 24 years old, teaches Tamil at Vivekananda Higher Secondary School, where she had studied as a child. Her monthly salary is 4,500 Rupees. She teaches 4 classes of 60 students. She lives in Muthialpet with her family in her grandmother’s house. Before she began to earn a living, her family lived only on the pension of her mother and the salary of her brother. With her wages, their living conditions have improved considerably, and they now have a decent income. Prabhavathy worked hard to get through her studies; with financial assistance from Sharana (which covered 50% of her tuition fees), she has completed her Bachelor of Education. She is also studying towards a Masters of Tamil in order to teach the subject at higher levels.
“Sharana is my family,” said Prabhavathy, “I recognise the role that the organization has played in my life. If Sharana had not helped, I cannot imagine what I would have become. I have achieved my goals.”
“Today,” her mother says, “my daughter is a professor, and I’m very proud of her. That’s all thanks to the help of Sharana. I cannot find words to express my gratitude. I will thank Sharana for the rest of my life.”
Agathe Catinat is a Sharana sponsor/donor, who wrote the following testimonial in 2010:
On my return from India in 2001, I told myself: “I cannot go back to my comfortable life without doing something for this country. I was very touched by the multitude of colours, smells, the cheerfulness and curiosity of its people, and also struck by the poverty and death which are unbearable to my Western sensibilities.
Therefore, I decided to participate in Sharana’s sponsorship program.
When I learned that Sharana would celebrate its 10 year anniversary in Pondicherry, I jumped at the opportunity to visit the association but more selfishly to rediscover everything that attracted me to India. Yet, since I made that decision, I was not quite at ease with the € 1,700 that we would spend on our aeroplane tickets. Wouldn’t it be better to give that money to Sharana?
During the three days of my trip, I saw and realized that every drop of water counts. Each child out of poverty and illiteracy; each child open to the world, and every woman made independent provides hope and an anchor for others. Sharana’s team is impressive with every team member being patient and attentive.
The wealth we have in our hands is not ours but merely passes through us. We are only temporarily guarantors. So when we give, it is not a favour but a duty.
I still don’t have a clear conscience because I am convinced that I should do more. Sharana gives the simple transfer of money a human dimension.
Govindammal, speaking of Sharana’s micro-credit initiative in Angalakuppam:
Thanks to this micro credit programme our living conditions have improved a little bit. Today at least I can have a positive outlook towards life. There was a time in my life when I had lost hope with life and life seemed a journey of hell. But today thanks to Sharana we have the possibility to share the platform with other women who have somewhere the same problems. This programme of Micro credit not only has helped us economically but also given us a confidence and hope.
Lakshmi runs the Dispensary at the Angalakuppam Resource Center. She had worked for years entirely on her own and against the odds to train as a paramedic, something she had dreamed of since she was a young child. Her family had opposed it initially, but she persisted, gathered loans from her family, faced the hardships of transitioning from Tamil- to English-medium education, and gave tuitions to local school children to cover her bus and textbook expenses. Lakshmi was employed at the prestigious Ranbaxy Labs when she decided to approach Sharana, so that she could follow another dream: to work for the benefit of her own community at Angalakuppam. There, too, she faced resistance. People in the village were not willing to accept a local girl as a physician. They were sometimes disparaging as they could only see a man in the role Lakshmi held. With patience and persistence, however, Lakshmi was able to with faith and trust and establish her own credibility. She speaks quietly of her achievements, but always with an air of confidence. So committed was she to providing medical services to Angalakuppam residents, she made sure that her husband-to-be understood and supported her goals before getting married.
The dispensary at Angalakuppam almost always has a line of patients waiting to see Lakshmi now. Thanks to her presence, Sharana is also able to offer referral services to patients (sending patients to local hospitals per their treatment needs). Lakshmi also assists in organizing medical, eye care, and dental care camps, further extending Sharana’s medical outreach efforts in the area.
Lakshmi’s life transformed three years ago when her father abandoned her family. Lakshmi’s mother could not take care of her two children, and the paternal grandparents could only provide an uncovered shelter. To feed her children, Lakshmi’s mother had to find a job as a housekeeper which pays a meager salary. Preferring to spend what little she earned for the education of her children, the family often went hungry. Three years ago, the family came to Sharana.
When Sharana took on Lakshmi’s case, the organisation had to first convince Lakshmi to return to school. It was not easy because Lakshmi’s mother was against it, and Lakshmi was terrified at the forgoing the single daily meal provided by the school. Finally, after almost five months, she was back in school through the sponsorship of Sharana. The association has also been able to find a better job for Lakshmi’s mother, and hope has reappeared in the family’s life. Lakshmi is now a good student, and she may again, with the help of Sharana, realize her dreams.
After quitting his studies to help his widowed mother, Dinesh found a job in a bar selling snacks. His mother had no regular income and sometimes worked as a housekeeper for a low wage. It did not take long before Dinesh became an alcoholic.
Dinesh’s mother came to Sharana to ask for help. After a few months of persistent effort to address the alcoholism, Dinesh was ready to return to school. Although he initially resisted Sharana’s efforts, he was able to regain confidence, and Dinesh’s school results have gradually improved. Sharana has also been able to find a better job for his mother. The family has moved to a different residence but has remained in contact with Sharana. Currently, Dinesh is one of the best students in his class and has dreams of attending engineering school.
Anbazhagan, 21, lives in the village of Angalakuppam. He was one of the first children of his village to be sponsored by Sharana. He is currently completing his 4th year diploma in Mechanical Engineering at the prestigious Mailam Engineering College. There is no doubt that he will find a good job after graduating. Once hired, he wishes to continue his studies. He plans to take night classes in order to complete a Masters of Engineering.
“Sharana gave me excellent advice and unfailing support in terms of my studies and my career,” Anbazhagan says. “Today in the village, I’m the one who has become an engineer. Without the sponsorship of Sharana, I would not have done that. My family and I are eternally grateful to Sharana for helping me to achieve my professional goals.”
“I am a farm worker without the support of a husband,” says his mother. “Today my son became an engineer! It happened only thanks to Sharana, who has helped us. We will never forget what Sharana has done for us. Thank you, Sharana. ”
Gayathri, 18, has just started a 4 year Electrical Engineering & Electronics course in the most prestigious Computer Engineering School in Pondicherry: IUT Manakula Vijayanagar. After 4 years of arduous study, she will become a Software Engineer which has been her objective since she was 8 years old. Gayathri has successfully passed her final high school examinations with an excellent score.
“The good result on my graduation exams,” says Gayathri, “and my admission into a good college is because of the financial support of Sharana. Without Sharana, I could not have met my objectives. As I am the eldest, I intend to find a good financial situation in order to help my mother and to later support the studies of my little sister.”
“Today my dream came true” says her mother, “although I have no husband, my daughter has achieved what she wanted. I am thankful to Sharana for their help and support.”