When we started our journey in search of Shanthi who was once a pavement dweller, we knew we were off to meet a fighter, but never knew that with a smile as humble as that, one can fight for an identity in life.
For us, Shanthi is not just a name but an epitome of resilience and hardwork. This is a life story of a woman – a sole breadwinner of her family, who has fought against all odds to bring up her daughter- her lifeline.
Struggling to meet the ends of her life on the streets, she could not find a way out to find a day’s meal. “No one gave me a job. There were times when I had to beg for food, hog on leftovers and stale food…I was all alone in the streets and when Equitas came to me, offering shelter and help, I saw the ray of hope”, when Shanthi said this, we could see a glow in her eyes- aglow, powerful enough to take her through anything that came her way.
“Once when I begged for food, a guy asked me if I could spend some time with him. I was starving to death but I was not dead back then to give up. The struggle was real. There were days when I had cursed myself for being born as a woman!”
“The struggle was real. There were days when I had cursed myself for being born as a woman!”
“I didn’t have an extra cloth to change or a sheet to cover myself. That was when Equitas came to me offering a shelter to stay and a job to make my living. When they said they will provide all the support but how I succeed from there is in my hands, I knew I could do it”, She said. “Today, I have a house, a job, my daughter’s education is taken care, I have forgotten what hunger is and I have an identity in the society. What more do I need?”
“Today, I have a house, a job, my daughter’s education is taken care of, I have forgotten what hunger is and I have an identity in the society. What more do I need?”
When she was showing the Aadhar, PAN etc. – the proofs of her existence in all excitement, we could feel the good that we have together done to her life. In a country like India, where documents are the only proof and existence of a person stands denied even if they stand right before`, claiming for their rights… Shanthi’s heartfelt smile was enough for us. “I didn’t have any of these. But now, I can say – I am an Indian citizen!” She added.
For that little house, she is the King and her daughter is the Queen and we could see that it was more than enough to make a happy family. We could feel that now realises the power of being born as a woman! When we started back, her one line resonated in our hearts- “Equitas is like a mother’s home for me!”, and all that we could feel was the satisfaction in doing what we all, as humans by heart would love to do!
More power to all Shanthi’s out there who never miss to inspire us! You made this possible for Shanthi to own her identity. Every time you make an investment with us, your money works towards the betterment of society. When we say- when you bank with us, you contribute towards a better society, we mean it!