This family photograph of two sisters and their elderly mother is a happy one, yet a few years earlier these women’s lives were torn apart by poverty and disease.
The charity found Aruna, (on the left), lying on the road side confused and in poor health. She looked as though she’d been homeless for some time. Like so many abandoned women, she was waiting for death to release her from her miserable existence. After being rescued by WIN Aruna spent 4 years at the charity’s shelter, receiving psychiatric treatment and the love and support she needed to recover.
We traced her home in the city and found her elderly mother living with Aruna’s 14-year-old son. Both were struggling to make ends meet; Aruna’s son worked in a local restaurant after school and his grandmother was suffering from dementia. The house was in an awful sate and grandmother and grandson were at their wit’s end.
Miles away in a small village Aruna’s sister Aparna was trapped in an abusive marriage. When she was diagnosed with breast cancer, her husband threw her out of the home.
In India this family’s struggle is not unique; many in similar circumstances accept their fate and wait / hope for the end. Today Aruna is happy and living at home where she is able to contribute to running the household. Her sister Aparna has moved in and WIN is financing her cancer treatment, which seems to be winning the battle against the disease. Their mother is able to receive the love and support from both daughters while her grandson is now studying medicine.
WIN champions the neglected and forgotten. Yes, we work hard a creating an impact in the local community; encouraging local authority health centres to follow our lead in preventing illnesses from becoming too advanced to treat. But we believe that all life is equally valuable and will always endeavour to provide a lifeline to those who have nothing.
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