Like so many underprivileged Indian women, 60 year old Sharda has faced hardship in her life. Widowed at a young age with two small children, she worked long hours as a farm labourer, managing to put aside a small amount of money for her daughter’s future marriage “dowry”.
Later when Sharda’s daughter was newly married she had difficulty settling in with her husband and in-laws and asked her mother if she could return home. Sharda agreed, but her son Santoosh, who by this time was head of the family, didn’t agree because his sister's return would have brought shame on the family.
The stress over her daughter’s welfare resulted in Sharda developing mental health problems. Wandering away from home she became lost and spent 2 years living on the streets until the charity found her.
After a further 2 years in WIN’s care Sharda made a remarkable recovery and was eventually able to help us trace her son, who by which time was convinced his mother had died following his own exhaustive police enquiries.
When Sharda eventually met Santoosh after 4 years later, it was clear that she was loved and that her family wanted her back. On her return home Sharda also discovered that her daughter was now happily settled with her husband.
Rescuing and rehabilitating Indian women with mental health problems is very challenging, but reunions always make it rewarding.