Letters from India
Poverty and violence are woven into the stories of Anita, Chinnama, and Ruphina. At times, their gazes are tired. In their trembling voices you can hear their pride to have made it; to have regained a hope that seemed to have faded under the weight of sorrow. Here are three letters from India, from the village of Taganaju, where the sun shines with the light of a new-found joy despite the difficulties.
- Anita and Family
Namaskar to all (Greetings to all),
I am Anita Pradhan. My husband Sahadev and I, along with our six children – four sons and two daughters – used to live in a small hut. It felt like we were living as tightly packed as fish in a small bowl, with barely enough space for us to move.
We have always lived in poverty. We have financial difficulties, we are illiterate, and our only income comes from cultivating the land and occasional daily labour. It was a hard life and the money we got wasn’t enough to provide proper shelter for our family.
Then, one day, the Vincentian Family generously helped us to get a house – made of concrete and with three rooms! For us, it was so much more than just a house. It was a place where we could finally live in dignity.
Our lives felt stable and so we decided to invest in the education of our children. It was a tough decision, because we still didn’t have much money, but we were determined to give our children all the opportunities we didn’t have. Two of our daughters are now going to school and even though it is challenging, we are committed to their education.
Despite our best efforts, three children couldn’t pursue formal education. However, with the help of the AIC, one of our children secured a job as a nurse. This really brought much pride to our family and also contributed to the overall income, making our lives more sustainable.
My children can tell you firsthand how all of your help has changed our lives. We were a family struggling in poverty, and now we are living a happy and dignified life in our new home. The Vincentian Family has not only given us a house but also a better future. We are immensely grateful for their kindness and support, which has had a truly lasting impact on our lives.
With heartfelt thanks,
Anita and family
- Chinnama and Family
I am Chinnama. My husband Ajit Kumar and I, along with our parents and two children, live together as a family of six.
Our home was very small and it was really bad and inadequate, especially during the rainy season. It used to leak, causing us much worry. Every time it rained, and together with our children, we prayed to God to alleviate this suffering and keep us safe from flooding.
Our prayers were answered when the Vincentian Family stepped in to help. They provided us with all the essential materials – cement, sand, and iron rods.
United as a community, we – along with other villagers – built a new home. Each one of us contributed our labour, arranged bricks, and placed boulders. It was a collective effort, a testament to the power and unity of our community.
With the completion of our house, joy now fills our hearts. We no longer worry about leaks during the rain or all the challenges that came with it. Our home is a symbol of unity, hard work, and the kindness of those who believe in helping others.
Chinnama and family
- Ruphina and Family
I am Ruphina. I live with my mother-in-law and my five children – two daughters and three sons.
Life has always been challenging due to our financial difficulties. We used to live in a very small house, and the space was not sufficient for us. Living in poverty was incredibly hard.
In 2008, our village was devastated by the violence of anti-Christian organizations. The memory of what happened is still vivid in my mind, as it was a day of terror. The safety of my children was the only thing that mattered and as the threat approached, I made a difficult decision. With my children by my side, we fled into the forests, seeking refuge.
The day after the attack, we went back to our village. Our house was completely destroyed and still burning. Seeing everything we had destroyed by violence in just a few moments left me speechless and in so much pain.
Our home was not safe anymore and for nine months we had to live in a relief camp. Nothing was certain and everything was chaotic.
When we finally returned to our village, we found destruction in every corner. Our home was gone, replaced by a tent that offered little to no comfort. This is how we became homeless.
In the midst of our struggles, the Vincentian Family came into our lives. Witnessing our plight, they helped us in ways we could never have imagined. They gave us goats so we could have a sustainable source of income. Moreover, recognizing the importance of education, they offered support to school our children. They gave us a new home that we built together with other villagers. The unity of the community gave me the strength to keep going, especially after my husband died two years ago.
Today, as I reflect on our journey, I am overwhelmed with gratitude and happiness. The Vincentian Family didn’t just rebuild our home. They restored our hope, allowing us to move forward with our lives.
With heartfelt thanks,
Ruphina and family.