Just the ordinary extraordinarily | Milaap

Just the ordinary extraordinarily

There are different types of heroes-- people who fight for themselves, people who fight for others, people who do extraordinary things, people who challenge status-quos, people who rise against challenges or even people who survive challenges. And amongst all of them, are heroes who silently do the ordinary extraordinarily. Making the best of any given circumstances, they sweat blood to sustain. Though their accomplishments are not often celebrated, they quietly inspire many people around. When I first met Rekha Mala Bhandari at her home in a small village, Nidagundi, I knew she was one such hero. Though concealed by her sheer modesty, her hard-work spoke for itself. Once a Devadasi, Rekha has seen the dark side of life. To raise her two daughters as a single mother on nothing but a job that paid her Rs. 100 per day, and yet to gather enough resources to educate them, it was a devil of a job. Her two daughters stand as examples of how hard work and determination can defy any amount of challenges. Her elder daughter, Pushpa, is a graduate in B.Ed. and is now married. Her younger daughter, Deepa, is pursuing Bachelors in Arts. "My daughters have always been into studies. It became my responsibility to enable their interests", says Rekha. Deepa's educational expenses cost her at least Rs. 500 a month, but Rekha believes that these expenses will be repaid as her daughter's independence and security.Starting with nothing but a low-paying job, Rekha now has too much on her plate. She works as a volunteer with 2 organizations-- KSWDC's Devadasi Rehabilitation Program and an NGO working for prevention of AIDS in the district of Belgaum. She works with Devadasis in and around her village to ensure easy access to pensions and other Govt. schemes. She single-handedly works in her half-acre farm that she owns, cultivating 2 crops in a year. She runs an animal farming micro-business, rearing goats and chickens. Whenever time permits, she also works as an agricultural laborer to earn a daily wage. By the end of my conversation with her, I was running out of nouns to describe her. An agriculturist, an entrepreneur, a volunteer, a daily-wage laborer, and a single mother, Rekha has hardly any time to spare. Thanks to the loan that she borrowed from Milaap to expand her micro-business, I had an opportunity to meet her.  As I left her place, I was reminded of a quote by Margaret Thatcher."Look at a day when you are supremely satisfied at the end. It's not a day when you lounge around doing nothing; it's when you've had everything to do, and you've done it."[caption id="attachment_7201" align="alignnone" width="611"]DSC_3611 Goat farming is one of Rekha's main income sources.[/caption]